My name is Eugenie and I was born in Bumba in the Region of Equateur in the Congo. I am 47 years old. We were 12 children in the family. Seven are still living. My parents gave me a Christian education and made it possible for me to get my State diploma in the Humanities (bio-chemistry track). I wanted to go to the university, but there was no money. After I finished school, I worked for 10 years for a non-governmental organization concerned with development. My life went well because I had a bit of money. Recently I was able to follow a three-month course in computer science.
I was married 18 years ago but my husband died two years afterward. My son is 18 and in secondary school.
I suffer today because I have no work. Everything is difficult: eating, getting medical help, sleeping, getting clothes, sending my son to school. My son is sometimes sent home because we canít pay the tuition. I live in dire poverty. I eat only in the evening: All I can afford for food is 50 cents a day. Sometimes I go to bed without eating. I pray God will keep me from getting sick; otherwise itís death for me. I canít pay the rent and have to ask one of my brothers for help. But how long can I do that? What suffering! Thereís no joy.
I have a small garden where I spend my days. What I raise is next to nothing. The sun is too hot and there is no fertilizer. But I put my heart into this garden. The future is dark for me. If it were possible, I would raise chickens, goats, ducks. But I donít have the space for that and no money to begin. Itís a shame. Iíd also like to educate children, especially orphans. When I have the means, Iíll try to do that.