Home > News > Women can change the world. Pontifex, Hear Us.

This is the last in a six part series of testimonies of refugees to raise awareness after Pope Francis’s visit to Kenya and Uganda at the end of November.

I dream to become an engineer one day, and an important woman in this world. Women are human beings, we are equal to men. We need to be united so we can create a better world together. I would like to live freely like everybody else, I have dreams of having my own family like anyone else.

When I left Congo and became a refugee, I came with nothing. I left my friends, my school. The worst moment in my life was when my parents told me I can’t go to university as long as I’m a refugee. They can’t afford it. I wish I could study because I fear I’m wasting my time.

I’m like a prisoner in Kampala, but at least I can study English. Without knowledge of English refugees struggle to do the most simple tasks, like going to the market or the hospital. When I study I feel free and I learn a lot from my teacher and my classmates.

People think refugees have no rights. We are not animals like some people think we are. Refugees cannot do some things, but they can do some others. I hope someday there will be no more refugees and no war because the most important thing for a human being is to live safely and in peace and to study.

When I finally break free of my refugee status I will become a builder – build my life, build bridges, build homes, build roads, and build a future.

Dear Pope Francis,

Continue to work for a world where there are no more refugees, where everyone can stay in his or her country if they choose. Remind the world that refugees are people with rights. Peace will return to our lives when we have the chance to study and work.

Also remember the value of women in society – we have power, we are equal and we can change the world.

Please pray for me, my family and my fellow refugees in Kampala. Even if I am poor in my earthly life, after this life I know I’ll be better and happy again.

In solidarity,

Sylvie, 20, Congolese, feminist, future engineer, refugee

Read the original report on the Jesuit Refugee Service Eastern Africa website.