For many, being forced to leave one’s home means having their previous life destroyed. However, for some, it means starting a new life. Joyce’s story is the latter.
Coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with her ten siblings, Joyce used to be a commercial studies student. It was a choice of her parents but she never enjoyed the subject. Life at the camp was very difficult, but she also gained the freedom to think about her passion and what she really loves to do. Joyce immediately fell in love with tailoring when she attended There is Hope's vocation training program. When she talked about her lessons, we could feel her exuberant energy. “Even though I have not touched a sewing machine before, as soon as I touched it at the class, I felt like I have known how to use it all my life.”
With great passion and creativity, Joyce became the star of the class and the best student the tailoring class had to offer. She is so passionate that she would spend extra time to come to the center and sew what she has in mind. After she graduated, she was recruited to Kibebe and started working as a professional tailor.
“It is my dream to become a designer.” Joyce is getting one step closer to realizing her dream by working for Kibebe. She enjoys working with Kibebe, because she admires the fact that Kibebe’s design is unique and it is very well thought through. Joyce now works on several of our products, including the toy rattles made with repurposed jars and tubs (pictured). A couple of years ago Joyce got married, and upon getting pregnant suffered the painful experience of developing eclampsia, giving birth to a premature baby boy, and losing him a few days later.
“What I have learnt is that a woman needs to pursue her dreams with courage. ” Joyce’s decision to follow her dream in Malawi after her past life takes an unimaginable amount of courage. Remaining open to having more children after a traumatic first experience takes just as much. Joyce's resilience makes us wonder if we should be courageous to pursue our dreams as well.
Please support Joyce and other refugee artisans living in and around Dzaleka refugee camp. Every donation helps us to provide skills training and empower refugees to be self-reliant.