The conflict in CAR has been ongoing since 2012. For many people, and for one young woman named Sorella, the conflict has brought hardships and loss. But, despite the great difficulties, there is still a reason to have hope.
Fleeing to safety
Sorella is 34 years old, married, with six children and one grandchild. As a young girl, Sorella didn’t have the opportunity to go to school. Her parents were poor and, as one of 12 children, they just couldn’t afford to send them all.
When armed groups came near to her village, Sorella and her children had to run, crossing the river into neighbouring DRC. Horrifically, some of Sorella’s neighbours, including children, were attacked and killed.
Thankfully, Sorella and her family, along with many other refugees, found shelter in a camp within a Congolese town on the other side of the Oubangui river. There, Sorella and her family survived on just 35 oz of rice and one litre of oil every month, cooking a simple meal of cassava bread to feed her children.
Every day, Sorella had a new worry: she worried for her children, about them going to school, and about who would take care of her when she got older.
Yet, despite her troubles, Sorella says, ’But we lived with God’s power.’
Two years after leaving CAR, Sorella and her family returned to the village. Armed groups had emptied the house and there was nothing left. One year on, it is still unsafe to walk around the village at night and many live in fear of being attacked.
With her husband struggling to find work, the burden of providing for the family fell on Sorella. But life began to change when Sorella came into contact with Tearfund partner, ACATBA, who were running an adult literacy programme.
‘My eyes didn’t open before. I was like a blind person. But when ACATBA came I learned how to count money and to read the Bible. I feel very happy.’ she says.
Not only has Sorella learned how to read and count, she is also running her own small business selling griddle-cakes, firewood, and charcoal. Wonderfully, the skills from the training now help her to manage her finances and run the business with confidence.
Today, Sorella has been attending the ACATBA training for six months – she even has a certificate after passing the classes! Along with 40 other men and women, Sorella continues to attend class three times a week. All of her six children are now also in school.
A thankful heart
Sorella remains very grateful for the opportunities and training she’s received from ACATBA. She hopes that her children will lead good lives, and is doing whatever she can to help them progress and grow.
Finally, Sorella prays for peace to come to her country. She says, ‘All strength comes from God. If you give all your time to God, God will not let you drop.’
Every pound you give to this appeal will be doubled by the UK government to empower people like Sorella to overcome poverty.