Séraphine lives in Burundi – the world’s poorest country. Decades of violent conflict mean that people like Seraphine live in extreme poverty. They carry pain and trauma from the violent past, leading to long-term mental health issues.
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Séraphine was born in Tanzania because her parents fled Burundi during the civil war. Poverty and violence dominated her early life. After moving to Burundi with her husband, the hidden wounds of pain and trauma, which she had carried for years, caused her to become very ill.
“After the birth of my child, I fell ill. I was paralyzed. My husband had to sell everything we’d brought back home to get me treated. It was really hard to feed my family. After that, the whole family hated me. In my community, they laughed at me, no one was there to help me. When I walked down the street, they would point at me and insult me.
“When we started the savings and loan group, I can’t describe the good it did in my life. I couldn’t afford clean clothes. My children, you only had to look at them to tell that they were Seraphine’s. But with the loans, I had capital to sell amaranths and I made a profit. Today, I sell palm seeds and can easily afford food for my children. It’s helped me a lot. Things have changed for all 21 of us. Our lives have changed for the better and we are grateful for the support we have received.
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about Seraphine and our work to help other people living with trauma in Burundi. If you’d like to hear more about Seraphine’s story, in her own words, take a look at our short film below and don’t forget to stay in touch by signing up for updates!
Watch our short film
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