Desange with her mother

Desange’s family lived in the beautiful country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where wide rivers run through deep valleys and mountains tower above. However, the rebel soldiers entered her peaceful village when she was a little girl and stole the sweet and simple life she knew. She vividly remembers the day the soldiers came. Her mother, Dativa, frantically grabbed her and her two siblings and ran to the forest, where they found refuge among the dense vegetation.

When things seemed to settle after several days, they returned to their humble home of baked clay bricks and a metal roof. They knew it was only a matter of time before the rebels would return. When they did, gunshots fired, and people screamed. Her family would flee to the neighboring village. “I do remember the DRC was full of tears,” Desange recalls, “Running from somewhere to nowhere.”

I do remember the DRC was full of tears, running from somewhere to nowhere.

In 2007, the conflict with the rebels began to escalate even more. Desange remembers seeing a house burnt to the ground and hearing talk that the soldiers decided to kill all the villagers. Her family knew they could no longer stay in their home country. They had to make the dangerous journey to seek safety in Rwanda.

The walk to Rwanda was long. Her family, along with a sea of other people, traveled through the forest because it was too dangerous to use the main roads. After a week of carrying their small possessions on their back, they made it to the border of Rwanda, exhausted and hungry. Desange recalls first going to the refugee camp. Her family was relieved to no longer be fearful for their lives. However, living in the refugee camp presented them with new hardships. They were provided with little food and clothing. Desange says, “When we went to the refugee camp, my mother raised us by herself. She had no one to help her and she struggled to provide for our basic needs.” 

Nine months after arriving in the refugee camp, Desange returned to school. Learning in the camp was difficult. Classrooms were crowded, and bellies were rumbling with hunger. Young girls like Desange often miss multiple days because they need to help with household chores and take care of younger siblings. Despite the challenges, Desange thrived in school and was a bright student.

In 2017, Desange and her sibling were chosen to be sponsored to attend a Christian boarding school in Rwanda through Impact Hope. Her family was excited for this opportunity, especially her mother, who desired her children to receive a quality education. 

Desange is currently studying accounting at university in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. She is grateful to her Impact Hope sponsor for believing in her and desiring a good life for her. Her mother recently wrote to Mindy Thygeson, the co-founder of Impact Hope, “I am happy and happiest that my children are in a safe place! Thank you to the sponsors for caring for my children in this way!” 

I am happy and happiest that my children are in a safe place! Thank you to the sponsors for caring for my children in this way!

Thank you for investing in the lives of refugee youth. You are showing them the love of Christ and giving them hope for the future! 

Share This