A day at HOLD:  Single mothers receive support and training that includes vocational skills with continued community mentoring and support. They also receive training that includes prevention of disease, their rights under the Congolese constitution, conflict transformation, environmental stewardship, business management, and how to manage savings & credit based. They cultivate leadership skills so they are respected and valued in their communities.

As part of a targeted approach, HOLD's peer educators visit schools and share their experience of being forced to leave school when they became pregnant. HOLD invited all the principals of the area's schools to a presentation, and many were moved to tears. Twelve principals decided to work together with HOLD and the state Education system to change the policy.

Many personal stories appear on this site -- some are about success, others about hardship, but all are inspiring beyond our imagination. We collect copies of them all here, so you can find them in one place. We hope you are moved, and come back often as the list grows.

Often, we protect identities through mixing up photographs and changing names.

Peace to you, always.

Their stories

"I don't have trouble buying soap anymore."

What is so special about soap? If a women in Congo says that she can buy soap, she means her basic needs are met. Her children are fed and she has a roof over her head. She is free to buy soap. 


In their own voice: The women at HOLD-DRC use music, poetry, drama -- and video -- to share their stories, teach social justice, and spread a message of change to their communities.

Tushinde Pamoja: This is the first video project shared by HOLD and Maisha Soul.



Making Tushinde Pamoja: A behind the scenes look.





Usinicheke: HOLD is changing the culture of silence around sexual violence. This video speaks on its own.




Why reach out to young mothers?

Modestine Etoy, Program Manager for HOLD-DRC, explains that it is crucial to empower young women, especially those with children, to realize lasting development.