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'A better hope': Antony's story from Chad

Antony in Chad tells his story of hope after finding support from Tearfund’s partner to build his business.

Written by Tarryn Pegna | 09 Jun 2023

Two teenage boys walk to school in Chad

Two boys walk to school in Chad. Antony says that now he is able to afford food and schooling for his family members. Credit: Steve Goddard/Tearfund

Up to a third of women in Chad live in polygamous marriages – in other words, where the husband has more than one wife. Polygamy is completely legal in Chad, and it’s estimated that about half the Christian population is polygamous. But, alongside a context of widespread poverty, the practice can come with some challenges. As sons of different wives – brothers from other mothers – vie for position, preference and provision from their father, family situations can often become challenging and even violent.


Antony’s story

Antony is from Chad. He tells us his own experiences of the situation and how support from Tearfund’s local partner, SERBAD, is helping him make life better for himself and his family.

‘I am 32 years old,’ says Antony. ‘I live in Logone Occidental Province. My name means joy, but, in reality, I did not experience any joy. 

‘I was born in a polygamous family of three wives with fourteen children. My father was always busy in his carpentry workshop, trying to meet the family’s basic needs. Unfortunately, he passed away a number of years ago and his absence has created a great void for me.

‘The conflicts between brothers have split the family into three groups opposed to each other. 

‘My own mother also has health problems and so, because I am the eldest of her children, she entrusted me with looking after my two brothers and three sisters.'

Working to provide

‘Growing up, I did carpentry work in the afternoons after class and during school holidays and, by using these skills, I was able to earn a little bit of money to try to fulfil my new responsibilities as the family head. Unfortunately, because we didn’t have enough money, I wasn’t able to go to school much anyway.

‘When he died, my father left a sewing machine which I found I quite liked to work with. By practising regularly with this sewing machine, I became a tailor and realised that this job would be much more profitable than carpentry. Sadly, the sewing machine was old and not in a good state, and so I couldn’t really enjoy the benefits of my new skills.’

‘Today, our worries and our sufferings have been replaced by a better hope.’
Antony, tailor, Chad

SERBAD support 

It was really frustrating for Antony to have found a job that he enjoyed – and that was more financially helpful than the carpentry – only to have his goals hampered by not having good enough equipment to work with.

Fortunately, thanks to the giving of Tearfund supporters, our local church partner, SERBAD, was able to provide some support to help Antony move forward.

He tells us: ‘With SERBAD’s guidance, the tailors of the village formed a group and SERBAD gave our group financial support. That support helped me to buy a new machine and fix the old one. 

‘My second younger brother, who was also interested in sewing, decided to assist me in the work. His presence at my side was a great support. This has helped me to professionalise my work and significantly increase income beyond food and school needs. Even more, we have been able to take care of the health of our mother who feels much better today.

Gratitude and blessings

‘Today, our worries and our sufferings have been replaced by a better hope and I dream of buying a piece of land a little further away from the rest of the family so that we can be more independent and avoid conflict with other brothers from different mothers.

‘I express my gratitude to God who provided SERBAD and Tearfund with financial resources that have helped me to come out from miserable conditions. May God bless SERBAD and Tearfund.’

Pray for people in Chad

    • Pray for people in Chad who are facing challenging family conflict situations. Ask God to help them find peace with each other that will lead to good relationships and improved living conditions as they are able to work with, rather than against each other.
    • Thank God for the changes in Antony’s circumstances. Lift up all those facing similar struggles with progressing their businesses. Pray that they will receive the resources they need to provide for their families.
    • Bring before God all those people in Chad who are living in poverty. Ask God to provide the ways and means for them to have more than enough.

Written by

Written by  Tarryn Pegna

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