Kado, his wife and daughter arrived at Nakivale Refugee Settlement in 2015. Once they were settled they connected with Tutapona and attended our Empower program. Just a few months after the program finished, Kado came to our field office excited and asking to share his great story. We were overjoyed to hear all that had transpired and HAD to share it with you.
Here is Kado's story of Redemption.
*Warning: Parts of this story may cause distress to some readers.*
“In Congo my wife and I were teachers. We were working and we had some security in our country. Then the rebels came and they killed my parents. They killed everyone, they did horrible things to the old people and the children. Our life was full of fear, we tried to persist, but in the end it was too much.
In 2014 the rebels came to our village and killed 37 people and many others were wounded. We were in the church at a conference, and by the grace of God my wife and I escaped from the church. Later, soldiers came to my home. They found my wife there, but not me. They took my wife and stabbed her through the breast. She still has the wound. I knew that we could not live there any longer so we decided to run away from Congo, and by the grace of God we were able to escape to Uganda. We arrived here in 2015.
It wasn’t easy when we arrived, I felt like life was against me. When I reflected back to Congo I would remember that life was good. We had good jobs, we had chickens and a piggery. We had everything. But from the moment I arrived in Uganda I felt like life had been lost. I began to regret coming here – I couldn’t even get any money to buy things for my daughter.
I cried. I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere with no place to go. I was too frustrated.
Then, I heard that Tutapona was coming to train people. I attended the program and from the first day I left feeling good that I was still living. I thanked God for sending Tutapona, it was like God was sending a message that this is why we were here.
In the training they taught us about trust and trauma and challenges. I learned that I can live with my enemy and still love him.
When I reached here I found that there were Burundians and Rwandans here – they were the ones who caused me to run away from my country. But I learned through Tutapona that I could live with my enemy. I learned about forgiveness and I learned that I was actually overwhelming myself with my thoughts. I found a lot of relief in that.
Now I have forgiven them. I feel like they are my brothers and sisters and now I’m living together with them.
The second topic I learned about was life challenges and that I need to have a target in life. Despite what I left in my old country, I can still go on and live a good life. On that day I decided that even from where I am now, I can start a new life and live again.
I started making mud bricks. I started helping to build houses and I found people to sell my blocks to. I used the money to buy a bicycle and started fetching water to sell to people. I even got some jerry cans and fetched clean water from very, very far and then sold it to other people.
From there I worked hard. I managed to save 100,000 shillings which I used to start a small business with just a table and some tomatoes and sugar cane. And after one month I sat with my wife and we did a budget for our business. We decided to cut our spending and invest it to our business. Within one month we saved enough to buy a pig. One pig. We kept feeding that pig and now the pig is big. It had eight piglets! Now people are coming to buy them, so I sell them for 50,000 shillings! I’ve already sold two piglets and six of them remain. I’m going to keep them, they will get bigger and I'm going to have the biggest piggery around Nakivale.
I am planning that by next year people will come to my piggery to pick up a pig and we can feed the whole of Nakivale.
I also have poultry, so I have a plan that soon I can sell them also. I want to eventually have a big market in Nakivale, maybe even not just Nakivale! I am also planning to buy another plot of land to build houses so that people can be renting them because in Nakivale there are often some refugees that come in and they don’t have anywhere to live, so they can come into my house while their house is being built.
Now I have learned enough from the sessions with Tutapona. I am now feeling ready to work hard and to be the way I used to be before. I am really thankful for the training that Tutapona has given us. I’m really thankful that you are there, and that you think about us refugees so that we can somehow be ourselves again in our new situations.
I thank you so much that your staff come and check on us and give us the training that we need. I’m thankful that you have given into us so that now we are like new people. We no longer have to rely on people to give us things for free because we have the ability to now work for ourselves.”