about the author
Martin Penner, a former journalist, has worked for WFP since 2008.
While visiting families fleeing violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, WFP Web Editor Martin Penner met a woman named Liberata, who agreed to take some questions from our supporters on Facebook. Here is what she said.
GOMA—On my first day in eastern DR Congo, I went to one of the camps for displaced people near Goma, in the village of Kanyruchinya. With the help of an interpreter I had a conversation with a woman called Liberata, who agreed to have her photo taken and answer a few questions from our online supporters.
I went back the following day and, again with the help of an interpreter, we asked Liberata six questions.
Here are the questions with her answers:
What are your children’s ages? Do you have family to help you? (Frances Rivkin, New York)
Anita is six, Irene is four, Fabrice is two and a half, Euphreme is one and a half and Bizimana is six months. My husband is here with me [at time of interview he was away looking for work]. We get by thanks to humanitarian aid from WFP, the government and other generous people.
What are your hopes for the future? (Julia Archibald, Scotland)
We want to go back to our village in Rutshuru and have the life we had before.
What is your life like in the camp? (Elaine Ko)
It’s difficult. Recently we got some maize flour, beans and cooking oil. In our village we used to eat 3 times a day. But here we can’t do that. I go out collecting firewood every day, so I can sell it. With this wood I earn about 200 francs a day, which allows me to buy some more food, like sweet potatoes or vegetables.
What is your plan for your children’s education? (Nitin Ubale, India)
My plan is to enroll them in school as soon as we get back home to our village. Here in the camp they don’t go to school because we have no money to pay for school expenses, like books and pens.
What are your neighbours in the camp like? (Avi Karn, Missouri)
We get along very well with our neighbours here in the camp. Some of them come from the same village and we fled at the same time. They have been through the same things as us, so there are no differences between us.
What keeps you going through all the tough times? (Mariya Waqas, Pakistan)
We manage to stay strong by the grace of God and thanks to humanitarian aid.