Joyce was one of the first widows helped by Life link. From the Tutsi tribe, and married in 1994, she very painfully witnessed the killing of both her husband and children during the Genocide. Following this, Joyce was taken captive and repeatedly beaten and raped, contracting HIV as a result. Joyce now suffers with cancer of the womb, which is believed to be as a result of the repeated rape.
Joyce was receiving funding from the Rwandan Widow’s Association (Avega) until she married her second husband from the Hutu tribe. Once the support stopped, her husband left her and she has had no further contact with him since. Joyce has seven children, four of whom live with her in a traditional one room, mud brick home, without electricity or plumbing, and which has been temporarily ‘lent’ to her for free. Although she pays no rent, her tenancy is tenuous, and without any rights, she can be told to leave without notice. This has unfortunately happened to her on many occasions.
Joyce received funding from Lifelink to buy Sorghum seeds; a type of grass from which the seeds are ground to make a flour, and that can be made into porridge.
She rented a plot of land on which she grew the Sorghum, and then expanded to grow Cassava and red kidney beans, which she dries in the sun to prepare for sale.
Joyce is thankful for the support she has received which has also helped fund her childrens' education.
Lifelink considered the possibility of providing Joyce with chickens or livestock, but concluded that it is not currently possible, as she does not rent or own her own home. Joyce will continue to need the support of Lifelink until she is in a more stable situation.