Malawi: Immaculée, the refugee freelancer inspiring hope

29 November 2021

After attending JRS’s Digital Inclusion Programme, Gahizi started earning a stable income and giving back to her community
After attending JRS’s Digital Inclusion Programme, Immaculée started earning a stable income and giving back to her community.

In the part of the Congo where Immaculée comes from, tribal violence has caused suffering to many families. Immaculée was just 13 years old when she ran away with her sister, after soldiers killed their parents and burnt their house. “I can’t say I had hope, I just moved,” she remembers.

As a refugee in Malawi, Immaculée did not let the sorrows of her past dictate her hope for the future. She attended JRS’s Digital Inclusion Programme, run in partnership with Conexio, which provides in-demand, digital skills to young refugees to equip them with the technical knowledge needed to get jobs online and earn an income.

The same day Immaculée finished her course, she got a job. “Life changed completely”, she says. “I am able to support my sister and myself, and I really enjoy my work.”

The opportunity to work and be self-reliant is one of the most effective ways for refugees to rebuild their lives and make a positive contribution to their communities. “My dream is to be a woman who inspires and encourages others. That’s all.” Immaculée helps refugees around the camp, whether they lack basic needs or need some company. She encourages everyone to learn and she shares her knowledge with others so they can also become independent.

“Now I feel confident and empowered, and I have the hope for the future,” she says.