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Meet the Clients Philomene


Country: Democratic Republic of Congo

Philomene is a farmer from DRC. She received training from Opportunity International which helped her to improve her farm and manage her finances better so that she is now able to send her grandchild to school and build a better life for herself.

Phiomene is a 61 year old farmer from DRC living with her 17 year old granddaughter, whose mother passed away when she was 1 year old. She has 6 children and her husband passed away 20 years ago.

When she and her husband married, the government gave them a piece of land, so they started faming on it. Philomene farmed this land and bought manure in bulk to sell on to farmers in her area. The money she raised went towards giving her children an education and their amenities.

Opportunity International provided Philomene with training in gender, agriculture and finance. Philomene was taught to manage her finances and how to save, as well as how to diversify her crops, elevating her crop beds and how to safely use pesticides.

Before, I was just farming for the sake of making ends meet. I didn’t know how to plan ahead or predict my expenses and income. But now, I know that I need to budget for everything and I know how to control my cash flow. I also learnt about the importance of saving.

With the training implemented, Philomene has been able to expand her business and grow her income.

In the past I used to sell around 30,000 francs worth of cassava leaves. After the training, I now sell around 70,000 francs worth of cassava leaves. So the improvement has been massive.

As a result of the project, Philomene is able to care for her granddaughter and send her to school. Philomene also hopes to send her to university and wants to build a new house.

I hope to build a new house for myself one day. I bless the people who sponsored this project, I am so happy to have participated in these trainings. I hope this project continues. The community treats me differently after these trainings, I feel more respected and confident.


Philomene also took part in gender training, where they are taught that women should not work in isolation, but that everyone can be most successful when working together. Philomene feels that women are not respected in DRC.

In DRC, women’s voices are still not heard. It is a slow process. For example, after the agricultural training, it was me and a fellow female farmer who encouraged everyone to raise their garden beds in order to save their crops during the rainy season. The men were initially very resistant to our idea. But now, everyone does it, and it was initiated by us, the women. This makes me feel happy and proud. Thanks to the trainings, I feel empowered and I feel confident to share my knowledge with other.