"Love Without Fear": A story from Mamafrica

by Michelle Wijaya January 14, 2016


One of our partners, MamAfrica works in the heart of the Congo with women survivors of violence. Many of these women have experienced great hardship, displacement, and loss of loved ones due to the violence and unrest in Congo. MamAfrica provides steady employment and a space for women to experience community and heal. You can shop for Mamafrica products here

We wanted to share a story from one of their artisans Mama Celine.

Mama Celine is 42, a widow with 10 children. During the work week, she walks 40 minutes to the Mamafrica office, which is housed in a church in Bukavu. Prior to joining Mamafrica, Mama Celine was a farmer and then worked as a tailor. Since work was limited to cutting, she didn't have many sewing skills. Our Operations Assistant Jamilah (from North Carolina) interviewed Mama Celine on a visit last June. When asked about her vision of the future, she replied:

"In the future my life will be good. I want Congo to have peace so that I can love without fear."

Mama Celine also said she likes Mamafrica because it has given her a job. This job helps her feed her children and help them reach their goals of going to school and working. Not only is Mamafrica helping her work towards achieving her dream of the future, but also the future of her children. 

 At Shared Trade, we love supporting the work that MamAfrica is doing in the Democratic Republic of Congo and artisans like Mama Celine. We hope alongside Mama Celine that her vision for the future will be a reality, not only in Congo but across the globe: to be able to love without fear. 

Michelle Wijaya
Michelle Wijaya

Also in Community Blog

Magdalene on the Inside: A chance to be someone new.

by Heather Davis February 14, 2017

Magdalene on the Inside is a program of Thistle Farms that supports incarcerated women through informed care, encouragement towards healing, and a structured place to live after their release. Magdalene on the Inside began in December 2013 at Tennessee Women’s Prison under the leadership of Sheila McClain, a Thistle Farms graduate and survivor-leader.
Read More
From a Father to a Daughter: Love Heals Families, One Day at a Time

by Marlei Olson January 19, 2017

Love heals women, one day at a time; and, love heals family relationships, one day at a time.Thistle Farms​ ​is the miracle that​ ​my daughter​ ​Rachel needed coming out of prison having lost everything in her life. The miracle she needed provided a safe place for recovery from almost 20 years of substance abuse and addiction​ ​-- years of treatment, recovery and relapse.

Read More
Meet Ericka: Professional, Board Member, Thistle Farms Graduate

by Melanie Reitz November 10, 2016

A 2003 Thistle Farms graduate, and now member of Thistle Farms’ Board of Directors, Ericka Monroe has a clear message for women coming into Thistle Farms: You can do it. In 2001, this is the message she received from Becca Stevens, and it has guided her ever since.  Ericka came to the program having spent four years on the streets. She was sure she wouldn’t stay, but, as she got to know the women around her, she realized there was something different here.

Read More