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Country: Uganda

Therese is a refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She and her five children now live in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda, after her husband was taken and their neighbours killed. Now, Therese hopes she can start a business in Uganda and build a safer and secure life for her children. 

Therese and her five children fled from Rutshuru, DRC, in 2019 after the Mai Mai (community-based militia groups) took her husband.

The Mai Mai used to come and take the men and boys to fight in the war, and if they didn’t accept, they were killed.

One night they came to our house and entered by force. They didn’t take anything from us, but took my husband. The children tried to stop them, but they took him and beat me badly.

Therese wanted somewhere safer for her and her children. So they left the country, leaving most of their belongings behind, and travelled over 170 miles by buses, motorbike and taxi.

When Therese and her children arrived at Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda, they went to the church and were given a mattress to sleep on. However, life at Nakivale is not easy.

People all wanted to help, and gave us the things we needed.

I try to live as best I can. We get porridge in the morning, and Ugali and beans for lunch and in the evening, and sometimes maize. But the children don’t go to school.

Back in DRC she had a business buying and reselling beans for a profit. Her husband was a taxi driver. Together with their children, they had a good life. All their children were able to go to school and they could afford to buy things.

Therese wants to start a business and build a new life in Uganda.

I can’t pay for school fees for my children and I can’t buy clothes, so to get some help so that I can get a business would be good for me.

I don’t want aid, I just want to have a business and provide for my children.