Heshima project update

"She is clothed in strength and dignity" Proverbs 31:25

The Heshima project has been running through our partners at Comfort Congo since 2014. Heshima is the Swahili word for “respect and dignity”. It is a reference to Proverbs 31.25. Heshima seeks to empower vulnerable women in the Goma area, North Kivu, D. R. Congo, through the provision of financial and spiritual support and the setting up of income generation enterprises through sponsorship. We recently received reports of how the women currently on the program are getting on and are delighted to share these with you. 

Nearly all of the reports exult in the joy it brings that as mothers they can now send their children to school because of the sponsorship money. Many of the children attend the Comfort Congo schools free of charge and this allows the mothers to concentrate on buying uniforms and providing food for their children. Others are finally able to pay the school fees that they simply could not afford before. Furaha says, “My 11 children succeeded at school and went up grades and today these children are healthy. We find food, clothes and satisfy other prior needs. It made me feel not abandoned nor forsaken to see this take place in my life, it encouraged me to say to myself God is on my side.”

However, life is still very difficult for these courageous women. One woman writes, “My children study at the Comfort Congo schools that ask me no charge, I work only to get their food and clothes when it is possible because I also need to pay the rent. This money helps buy some school requirements like chalks and notebooks. These children happen to lack shoes and good uniform because to be honest they are many for me to cover their all needs. I cover those I am able to because I mostly focus on their food and the renting.” As well as the day-to-day struggles of life, COVID-19 has also had a severe impact on the businesses of many of the women. In spite of this, many of the women have been able to rebuild and grow their businesses in the aftermath, due to the support of their sponsors and the project. 

Another serious challenge that many of these women have endured has been illness. Justine says, “It encourages me to see how happy are my children going to school in beautiful school uniform with good notebooks, pens and pencils and they enjoy their classes.” She goes on to say about her uterine condition, “The progression of the disease prevents me from working. The Head Doctor recommended I don’t work or lift heavy objects. But it is difficult for me to live without working or lifting objects as I am with no one to help me do this apart for children who spend their time at school.” Beatrice went through a severe bought of anaemia which confined her to hospital, but here she says with great faith, “Nothing will hinder my hope in the Lord, I always trust in his love and his kindness. I went through difficulties mostly caused by my sickness but I still know God is on my side as far as my health recovered, it will be alike for my selling business.”

Halcyon met Tuyambaze, who she sponsors, on a Comfort International trip to D. R. Congo this Summer
"God is with us and I know He has promised that He will never abandon nor forsake us, I have firm faith in him and I have no fear. I believe that I will overcome the challenges I undergo."
Sponsored by Derek

At the end of the report, each of the women were asked, ‘What are you hopeful for in 2022?’ Each of the women shows incredible faith, grace, and courage in their answers. Each of them points to the love and faithfulness of God and their assuredness in his plans for their lives, despite the incredibly difficult situations they find themselves in and the many hardships they have already passed through. Justine says, “I hope that God will make ways,  and despite my sickness my children will still go to school and they will get good results. As for the sickness, I know that Jesus Christ is the healer, nothing is difficult for him to repair. I will find grace in him and his love for me is all within this situation.” Tuyambaze replies, “My hope is still the same and I will not give up praying because I know He will make a way for me. My faith tells me that God has not gone far from me.”

We praise God for the wonderful work that is being done through the Heshima project and for the remarkable difference it is making to real people’s lives. We recognise that life is still difficult for many of them and we continue to work hard to see their lives transformed. Huge thanks to all of our sponsors – your faithful donations are truly changing lives. If you are interested in sponsoring a lady like Elodie, Justine or Tuyambaze, please head to the sponsorship page on our website. 

a little can change a life