Thanks to donations from the public during the 2004 Lenten Appeal, Josiane and her family, along with thousands of others, received support which helped improve their lives, and in particular supported farming. This meant they could feed their families, earn an income and continue to attend school.
“Thanks to Trócaire’s support my mother was able to start a shop selling sorghum and the family was able to afford a home and a small piece of land. My brothers and I were able to attend school. I used to wake up very early so that I could fetch water for my mother before going to school. During the weekends, I helped my mother in her agricultural activities hoping that someday I will be able take care of her.”
Today, 18 years later, Josiane (31) is now married with two children and lives in Kigali City in Rwanda. After graduating with a qualification in business management and accounting, Josiane now works as a Finance Assistant in Trócaire’s office in Rwanda.
“I still have the 2004 Trócaire box in my home and I look at it now and again to remind myself of how far I have come. I get very emotional when I look at it still, because I know I wouldn’t have finished my schooling, or have the job I have today, or be able to look after my family, without the generosity of the Irish people,” Josiane said.
“When I look at myself on the Trócaire box, I remember the challenges we faced as a family after the Rwandan genocide. My mother was really struggling to survive alone with three young children, living off a small piece of land and constantly facing the threat of hunger,” Josiane added.
Josiane said her life changed after appearing on the Lent box in 2004.
“The generous support from the Irish public allowed my family to improve our farming so we had enough to eat and could sell extra to earn an income. My school fees were also paid for and I will forever be so grateful that I was able to finish school and now I have a job with Trócaire. I’m able to support my mother, and my brothers have finished their university studies and are working as well. I’m grateful that my children are not facing the same struggles I faced when I was a child. My dream for them is that they will receive a good education.”
“The generosity of Trócaire supporters also helped to provide many more families like mine in Rwanda with the farming equipment they needed to improve their food production and sell at markets.”
Josiane added that working with Trócaire now allows her to help her community in Rwanda.
“Trócaire is like another family for me. I work hard hoping that my efforts are benefiting other girls like me in one way or another. I love hearing success stories and how Trócaire’s work is changing lives out there.”