Isa: Story about courage and resilience
October 18, 2021 News

Isa: Story about courage and resilience

Isa did not have an easy life. At a very young age, rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo murdered half of his family and out of fear, he had to flee to Zambia. However, when he met Madame Shakira and Caritas Czech Republic, his life turned around and doors of new opportunities unlocked for him.

On the run to safety

“My parents were farmers. One day, they left for work and never came back. I had to go look for them the next day. I found them cut into pieces,” he remembers. Isa was afraid to stay in the country, he felt lost and knew that his only option was to run. “We didn’t know where we were going, we just went because we wanted to leave that place and be far away from it. Rebels could have come back and killed us too,” he adds.

Caritas Czech Republic helped Isa in two phases. When the young man came to Zambia with his two younger brothers and his sister, Madame Shakira adopted them. She was able to afford that also due to the fact that she graduated from a Caritas’ learning programme, that made it possible for her to open her own restaurant. “Now, after finishing the programme, our life completely changed. Everything became so easy,” Madame Shakira says with a smile on her face.

Becoming a youth leader

Caritas’ help doesn’t end there. We also chose Isa as one of our youth leaders, who will pass on their experience to the younger generations and serve as role models for other refugees. “I love working with young people, I want to share all my thoughts with them,” says Isa. His job includes visiting youth centres in Lusaka, where he organises various activities for the youth. “For example, we run literacy courses where every Thursday people can come in and learn how to read and write in English. In the George centre, we even play football, we draw and play billiard,” Isa adds.

"In the George centre, we even play football, we draw and play billiard,” Isa says

Chance for a better life

Isa isn’t the only one who received our support in Zambia. The country hosts more than 90 000 refugees that need assistance. Most of them don’t have access to their own livelihood, either due to strict government restrictions or conditions in places where the refugee camps are located. We are also the main partner of UNHCR in Zambia and focuse on accessibility to education for refugees and on support of self-sufficiency through farming, which is the only possible livelihood in remote areas without basic infrastructure.

Watch Isa's story in the following video:

Photo and video credit: Michal Gálik