Yolande lives in Bangui, the capital and largest city of the Central African Republic (CAR). Life has not been easy for Yolande. At 43 years old, she has never been to school; growing up, she felt ‘stupid’ and often found it difficult to communicate.
Her husband died four years ago, leaving Yolande to raise their three boys on her own. To survive, she had a small plot of land from which she sold food for a living. To add to her worries, Yolande was forced away from her home and her land stolen by her husband’s family. She had to leave with nothing.
Yet, even in the face of conflict and trouble, Yolande’s grateful heart remains. She says, ‘It is only prayer. It is only God. It is God that pulls me out of the difficulty!’
A new kind of lesson
When she met Tearfund partner ACATBA, Yolande was encouraged to go to school. ‘Me,’ says Yolande, ‘who didn’t know anything about literacy. I didn’t know how to write or even how to read!’
But Yolande went along and slowly, she began to make good progress. Now, she knows how to read the Bible perfectly. She can also write a little now too – including her own name! – and has even become a leader in church.
Yolande says, ‘It really makes me feel very happy.’
Eyes wide open
Since learning how to read and write, Yolande’s confidence has soared. She no longer feels shame or embarrassment, and wants to reach out to other women and help them receive literacy training.
Yolande says, ‘Before, as I didn’t attend school, I didn’t feel good. By going to ACATBA, my eyes did really open. I grew up and I became a woman.’
Praise God that because of the training she’s received, Yolande is able to sell her food items with confidence, knowing she has the skills and knowledge to handle the transactions with ease. She says, ‘If someone comes and buys something from me, I am able to give them the right money back because I went to school. I am literate.’
Prayers at Christmastime
Christmas is a joyous time for Yolande. It is a time to come together as a family and celebrate. ‘Christmas feast is the feast of Jesus’ birth,’ she says.
Yolande’s prayer this Christmas is that God will protect her family, her country, and that peace will come to CAR.
Every pound you give to this appeal will be doubled by the UK government to empower people like Yolande to overcome poverty.