United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Pushing Back Against Poverty: Christian Aid Week May 12 to 18 2024

Overcoming violence and homelessness to run a successful business
Pushing Back Against Poverty: Christian Aid Week May 12 to 18 2024 - Overcoming violence and homelessness to run a successful business
With the profits she made selling her avocados and peanuts, Aline bought a bicycle to transport her goods further afield. Credit: Christian Aid/Ndacayisaba Epitace.

Aline Nibogora is 35 and lives in the small East African country of Burundi. She was married young and aged just 14, she gave birth to the first of her six children. Her husband was violent and beat her regularly. One day, he ejected her from the family home, and cruelly separated her from her children. Aline wandered the streets trying to stay close by, asking anyone for a place to sleep.

“Those who showed me kindness would let me stay for two or three days, but it was difficult,” Aline explained. “People would insult me and treat me with contempt. They forgot I was a human being. It filled me with sorrow.”

In a patriarchal society where men dominate in almost every aspect, life is particularly challenging for women. But Aline found the strength and determination to push back against the injustices she was facing. She went to a three–day workshop where Christian Aid funded trainers taught people about village savings and loans associations.

“They restored in me a sense of hope and energy to take on initiatives. From then on, I started working hard, so I would not be dependent on anyone.”

With a small start–up loan, Aline began trading avocados and peanuts locally. With her profits, she bought a bicycle to transport greater quantities of goods to markets further afield. Aline is now a grocery wholesaler. She’s been reunited with three of her sons and lives on her own plot of land in a village in Kayogoro, Makamba Province. She is planning to expand the business and is building a home for her family in the hope she’ll one day have all her children with her.

“I bought some solar panels,” Aline added. “We now have electricity and the children can see to do their homework in the evenings. There’s a shortage of food at the moment but I’m doing what I can to get by until it’s time to harvest.

Aline continued: “I enjoy spending time with my children, who are my favourite people in the world. We make plans for the future and we pray together. We are still alive thanks to God’s grace. God comforts you through troubled times and gives you hope for a better future.”

Aline is now the chairperson of her village savings and loan association and has helped 25 other families.

Aline says the support of Christian Aid has made the whole community feel comforted and empowered. “We can see positive and significant changes in our lives. I really thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.”

This Christian Aid Week, your donations can help families like Aline’s to escape the trap of poverty and fulfil their ambitions. For more information and to donate, please visit or telephone 028 9064 8133 (Belfast) or 01 496 7040 (Dublin).


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