Bosnia: “I would like that you are closer to come to my house and eat my cookies and have a cup of coffee.”

November 3, 2009

“We in ‘Women for Women International’ call this farewell letter. My experience in this program is:

  • it helped me to appreciate myself a lot more, as I did 12 years ago.
  • it gave me back a period of my life that I’ve lost, and I didn’t realize that until I came here. I wasn’t aware of all the things I’ve lost in my character and all of that affected me as a person
  • I became braver and much more determined in my fight through life and finding solutions for my problems
  • I have a new viewpoint for many things in life and if I put it in one reason, I got out from the monotonous life style to one that really makes sense.” ~Jasmina, Bosnia.

“In my alones I needed something to keep me occupied and that was the reason why I have become a WWI member… It is good that you have a blissful marriage with Marc. I had a wonderful marriage but my husband passed away in 1995 after hard illness and I was left like a tree without any branches. You have made my life more meaningful these days.” ~Latifa, Bosnia.

“After Ramadan, our favourite holiday Bajram comes. During Bajram we visit our relatives and buy presents to each other. We put on our best clothes and we try to look as pretty as we can.” ~Zirafeta, Bosnia.

I would like that you are closer to come to my house and eat my cookies and have a cup of coffee.” ~Mandzuka, Bosnia.

AND a recipe for…..

Bosnian Pot Dish~

 1.5 kilo of lamb or beef, 3 potatoes, 3 tomatoes, 1/2 an eggplant, 2 or 3 onions, 1 garlic, 2 or 3 carrots, 1 parsley, 1 cabbage, salt, pepper, spices, paprika 1 or 2 deciliters of water

  • Cut meat into big Pieces, cut vegetables into cubes. Use if you have pot made of clay but you can also use ordinary pot. Put into it a line of meat then cabbage and then a line of meat and vegetables in that way. Put spices between mean and vegetables. At the end, put some oil and water. Cover the pot with a piece of paper and then make some holes. Then decrease temperature and then cook it for 4 hours.” ~Zijada, Bosnia.

Rwanda: Ladies are the Hearts of a Country

October 13, 2009

To my Beloved Sponsor Sister,

How are you doing over there? And how is life?

It is a pleasure to me to have the opportunity and write to you so that I get to know your news. Did you get my letter? Thank you so much for the sponsorship. I have been getting and it had been very useful and I thank you for your good wish to me of having a bright future. We have a saying in our language that ladies are hearts of a family. So it is clear that they can even be the heart of a country.

But in accordance to genocide that took place here women faced a lot of trouble. They were raped. Their husbands were killed. Their children were killed, even their parents and friends. They were made victims of AIDS due to raping. The government used all possible ways to help them. We have got a big number in the leadership.

 Secondly, I am happy to meet you. I am called Claudine. I am a cultivator of things. I tried to get domestic animals, 2 goats and 2 rabbits. So after garden work I look after my animals since all the children are at school. It is good you want to assist the poor women who can’t support themselves. I didn’t get the chance of going to school because my parents were too poor. They are no longer in existence. I pray to God that I become stronger. I am sure my prayers will do a big job to help me lead a better life on this earth. I don’t feel happy when my friends go to bed with out food or if they have other problems.

In Rwanda here we lead a poor life. There were no friendships among the people, every person was alone to the extent of genocide broke out in 1994.This is how I came to loose my family where I originate from and from my husband’s side. I pray hard that it won’t happen to any other person. We should be living in a good world without hatred so that our children will be in a happy world. Let me stop here. Have a good time. God bless you till next time.

 ~Claudine

Rwanda: “I find myself with something little, but mine.”

October 6, 2009

Letter Quotes: Rwanda

“My dear sponsor, I greet you in the name of almighty God. I don’t know how to say this, I am very grateful to you and I have nothing to say other than asking almighty to bless you endlessly. You got me out of misery. I was very poor and I thought that I was the poorest being on earth. But now I am getting fine and well off. Now I sell fruits and I thank very much and I think that only the Almighty God can compensate for your goodwill, no one else. Now I am not the way I used to be, because nowadays at the end of the day, I find myself with something little, but mine. “~Therez

“I write this letter to thank you for your support that improved my life from poverty and loneliness. I sell many things including clothes. Whenever I needed soap, salt and other domestic requirements, I used to wait for my husband to buy them for me. But now I have been independent, being able to get what I needed without waiting for him to buy it for me.  I can’t stop appreciating your support that leads me to this good life, thank you….  You are always in my heart. Bye bye.” ~Gaudence

 “I was excited to receive your letter talking about your good life. I was also pleased with your picture that included you, your husband and your beautiful very beautiful sweet baby. This showed me that you received my letter…. You told me how you traveled in your country and even beyond your borders! This made me happy! But for me I have never traveled beyond our borders. I just went to our capital city of our country Rwanda, the capital Kigali. So I enclose our picture and the one you see in a colored shirt is our neighbor who wanted to be with us in the picture. Let me close here.  Until next time I wish you peace and luck forever.” ~ Patricia

“Dear Wendi, I am please writing to you informing you that the support you send me was of great help. Thank you very much. It improved my condition of living, I will never forget you. I am married and have a son two years and four months. I live in Kigali city, District of Gasabo. I am not sure of you being a man or a woman because of your names (Please bear with me it looks strange).” ~Joseline

My family is very happy because they have seen that I am producing something very important and I have also come to realize that I can do something very important and useful to me and my family which can help us to a better life.” ~ Xaveline

DRC: “Now I have hope”

August 17, 2009

Dear my beloved Peter.

I am very happy to have this chance of thanking you very much for having allowed me in your family.  After hearing that you have allowed me in your family I was very much pleased.  Thank you very much.  My God bless you very much.

I wish to tell you a bit of me.  I was born in a poor family.  After a short time mam passed away when I was still very young then later dad married another wife who mistreated me very much.  Then I disappeared from home and went to the capital city Kigali where I started to struggle for survival.  Here I started a hard life that was in 1984.  Later I was pregnant and gave birth to a baby without a husband.  This is when I started real poverty up to now.  But now I have a hope because of your sponsorship which you are sending to me.  I am sure it is going to help me from this poverty.  Thank you very much.

I am again thanking Women for Women program for having joined me with you and for their lessons which they are teaching me.  They are very useful to me.  I have a hope that this sponsorship is going to be productive and that it is going to help me from the poverty which I have been living in for the whole of my past life with the help of these lessons I have been taught in this program.

Here poor people are in problems because of how our country is developing at high speed people who have knowledge and who are able to work are becoming more and more rich, but we are also trying to see that we are not left very far away from others. Rwanda is a country with a good vision now.

I would like to have your family photograph so that I can see them.  I will aslo try to send mine to you.

Dear my beloved Peter, how are you doing over there in America.  I was very happy to hear that you have completed your presidential elections very peacefully.  We Rwandans we have been praying for your elections all the Christians in their services were praying the election in America.  You have showed the world that you really have democracy.  Here in Rwanda we are also preparing for the presidential elections next year in 2010.  We also need your prayers so that it may run smoothly.

Dear my friend I heard that in your country of America you have a lot of coldness and snow.  How are you now is it very cold at the moment?  I wish I could reach there and see that place and meet you with your family.

I will always pray for your protection.  I have two children one is called Uwimbabazi Clarissa and the 2nd is called Uwera Jeannine.  They are all greeting you  and wishing to see your children.

Send my greetings to your family as well as your friends.

Thank you may peace and blessing from God continue to be with you.

From the one who loves you very much.

Marie

Letter Quotes: Nigeria and Rwanda

August 14, 2009

“Thank you very much for being my sponsor sister in the program Women for Women. I am full of joy for the support and encouragement you gave me. My condition before was full up ups and downs, things were very hard. I hope my life will change with your support; thank you for sending sponsorship funds to us. …I have a sister with me here, you have proved to be another one, you are my sister indeed. I will put my effort to see that I learn what thy have to teach us.” –Eucharia from Nigeria

“By now you may be wondering what is happening in our clan (Women for Women). This is to tell you about the positive impact in my life. I learnt many things but to start with is political power, that we women have equal power in government. In fact that we can contest for any political post even presidency or any political appointment and have the right to vote and be voted for during election.” –Beatrice from Nigeria

“Thank you very much for your sponsorship which I am very much pleased with my family is also very much happy. I have finished to shelter our house and I have bought a cow from the profit I made from this sponsorship. Actually have been doing well in my small business I have been making a good profit. I’m hoping to open an account from the bank where I will be saving some little money. I wish I could meet you and hug you with my both arms. I have got a new baby boy he is one month old. God has answered our prayers.” –Silvine from Rwanda

“I am a single mother, my husband left me with one child. I told her about our friendship and she was very happy so every time I write she tells me to send greetings to you. She knows that all I managed to achieve was because of your sponsorship.” –Floride from Rwanda

“Thank you very much for sponsoring me from poverty which I was in and I am infected with the HIV/AIDS I am on the medicine which reduces the power and strength of HIV/AIDS and this medicine needs to be taken when you have taken something or eaten so I was very stressed. …I was almost giving up with my life because of this disease but now I am doing well because of your sponsorship which I am using to produce profit and this profit is helping to feed my five children with my parent. …Thank you from your sister who loves you.” –Odette from Rwanda

Iraq Letter Writing Announcement!

August 7, 2009

As many of you know, we have historically been unable to allow letter writing for our participants in Iraq as a matter of security. It was found to be unsafe for the women to have letters from their sponsors, particularly from sponsors in the United States. Recently however, the women in our Iraq program have made it clear to us that they feel a great loss in being unable to correspond – and we have worked with our wonderful Iraq staff to make it possible.

We began piloting a program for letters in Iraq in Fall 2008, with the assurance that we would let you all know as soon as we were ready to open the letter writing program to all Iraq participants and sponsors. That day is today! Iraq sponsors: if you choose, you can now send letters to your sponsored sister.

Letter writing in Iraq differs slightly from the program in our other countries. Since it remains unsafe for the participants to have physical letters from their sponsors, we will accept letters from sponsors only through email. The letters will then be available for sponsored sisters when they are in the office for their classes. Participants in Iraq will write paper letters, which we will send along to you the same as those from any of our other country offices.

Although they are unable to take the actual letters home with them, so far the participants are ecstatic to be able to communicate with their sponsors and very appreciative of any letters or photographs (sent as attachments) we have sent to date.

If you would like to email a letter to your sister in Iraq (or any of our countries), simply send it to letters@womenforwomen.org and include your full name and sponsor ID, along with your sister’s name, country, and woman group.

Letter Quotes: Afghanistan

August 7, 2009

“I am very happy that I have a kind sister like you. I am a house wife, it is going to be 16 years that my husband died and I am bread winner of my family and have a lot of economical problems. Now one of my legs and one of my hands broke because of economical problems I can not go to doctor for cure and I come to this program very difficulty. May thanks from your funds and cooperation of Women for Women International and I am very happy that I received your letters.” –Parwar from Afghanistan

“Women of Afghanistan suffered a lot of problems during these last decades and they want to live in peace and to be self-sufficient.” –Rahima from Afghanistan

“We are getting close to elections and I took card of elections and I want to participate [in the] elections and select our candidate” –Zansangi from Afghanistan

“I want to begin other programs like this for Afghan women.” –Gulalai from Afghanistan

“I am an uneducated woman, I send my children to school and I love equally my sons and daughters. I am very happy in Women for Women International that this program offers many useful lessons about women’s rights. Before I joined this program I didn’t have information about women’s rights and now that I am a participant of this program I have learned many useful lessons about women’s rights that women can work and help with each other. We are women that we must love each other and live in peace.” –Sheama from Afghanistan

An Afghanistan letter

A letter from Rozia in Afghanistan.

DRC: “I will cherish [your friendship] forever”

August 3, 2009

Dear Irene,

Warm greetings to you and to your family!  I hope all is well with you.  As for us, we are currently doing well but the future is God’s secret.

I am so happy to have you as my sponsor sister. I feel blessed to have had you in my life. Your friendship has meant a great deal to me and I will cherish it forever.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.  My name is Riziki.  I am 30 years old.  I was born in Bagira Zone, in Bukavu town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  I am a singer and belong to a protestant church that we call 5th CELPA/Philadelphia.  My husband loves God as well.  My oldest daughter is a singer as well.  She is 6 years old and is in the 1st grade.  The second is a boy of 3 years old and the third is a boy of one year.  I also take care of two orphans.  We live by God’s grace because we are facing many challenges in our country.

I know Kiswahili and French. I like cooking different recipes. I want to learn English and guitar. I like religious music because it comforts me so much. Our culture is different from yours. Divorce is not allowed in our tradition. Once one gets married, he/she must endure all the difficulties that he/she face in the household. Only death will separate you.

…My husband’s name is Mbisso that means attic/garret.  My name is Riziki that means blessing or wealth.  Our kids’ names are: Binga, Robin, and Louange.

Every day when I get up, I make a short prayer, then I get my kid ready for school, clean the house, wash dishes, make lunch and provide food for my family. After eating, I go to the market to buy food for the evening meal. Once I am back from the market, I start cooking then we gather for food. After eating we pray together and read the bible. My husband and I teach our kids God’s words then we go to bed.

My God bless you for your good deeds.

Sincerely yours,

Riziki

Letter Quotes: Nigeria, Rwanda, DRC, Kosova, and Bosnia

July 31, 2009

“The cool breeze of the wet night sang across my window, singing in my heart, looking for you. A joyful spoonful of smile, the multiplication of joy and addition of above that I have decided to write you this today. But before I will proceed, I must ask of your health, your daughter’s health (Marie) and your son (Brian) with an optimistic that you are all majestically swimming in the oceans of life if so praise to God.” –Cecilia from Nigeria

“I am married. I have a husband and we have five children all are boys. I am the one caring for the children alone their father does not care for them. Before your sponsorship I was always in worried thinking of how to raise my children and I could not get the answer but now I have no problem. I go to the market buy a full sack of beans and sell them for profit which is helping me to buy my needs. Thank you very much.” –Marie Joseé from Rwanda

“When my husband chased me, he told me that I’ll become a street woman but when I was admitted in the Women for Women program, my life began to improve. Through the financial help you are giving me, I paid the school fees for my two studying children and had my house built, till now I no longer get wet when it rains. I also learned much from the instructions and was comforted. I’m sure that even after graduation I will go on selling local beer and get money. I’m saving money, when I will get a considerable amount, I will bring it to the cooperative bank. My children will go on studying and that man will be confused. I was illiterate but now I know to read and write my name.” –Emerciane from the DRC

“The letter I received from you I liked it very much and made me feel very good form the fact that this letter came from a country which gave a big contribution for the freedom of my country which we and our families enjoy today in Kosova. Even though the war had brought us many human losses and material losses our people of Kosova have made it and are challenging this high economic crisis. The program of Women for Women is a very good program that enables many women to take part and learn things about the daily life. Also for me the chance was given to me to participate in this program and learn many things. I am currently learning about “Business Administration” which I dreamed for so many years…. The learning of business administration is a learning that I truly love because I want to be able to administrate a business. This learning will maybe enable me or other women to find a job and support our children.” –Imrane from Kosova

“Dear sister, you asked do I have traumas from the war. Of course I have. I was in a refugee camp. Organization “Women for Women” is good cure for that. Dear sister, I’m writing you and I’m crying. Even if you’re far from me, I feel like I know all my life. I wish that no one ever feel the war on the skin. I hope your new president Barack Obama will bring peace to the world and that no one will cry.” –Zekira from Bosnia

Rwandan Family with Goats

July 27, 2009
Claire from Rwanda poses with her children and two goats she purchased with her sponsorship funds.

Claire from Rwanda poses with her children and two goats she purchased with her sponsorship funds.


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