Liliane Soki Musavuli, Butembo

I am happy of what I do because in our culture, girls don’t have this courage. We are proud of what we do.

Watch Liliane's story below:

A woman working for women

Liliane Musavali, 27 years old, is already a woman rich with experiences and determination. This inhabitant of North Kivu province decided to attack a vast problem in the DRC, summed up like this: “a deficiency of basic education, more specific, I can say that there is a deficiency of basic education with young girls”. Her main target? Unsaid things and the lack of dialogue that can lead to dramatic social and human situations. “There are, in our society, in our culture, questions that parents consider as taboo. They don’t want to speak out loud about it to their young girls, and then the girls get information here and there, which unfortunately can have repercussions in their future life”. An unbearable situation, in front of which Liliane decided to not remain passive.
I noticed there was a problem, with young girls who let themselves be touched at 12 or 14, and thus would leave school.

A progressive action

Lilian’s commitment became more and more, adapting to what she could see in the field:
I started with managing young girls in my quarter (…) I start working with young girls, with sittings. We organised debates, spaces where it was possible to exchange ideas.
Quickly, this first initiative was not enough for her, she thought bigger, more efficient.
I found that it was still not enough. I tried to widen that, I negotiated a radio program with a local radio, where I still present the program now.
A surprising step, especially in a society in which women are constantly confronted to cultural prejudices. That didn’t stop Lilian to run her radio program “Responsibility and future of the Youth” , which is still being broadcasted today. She presents its aims: “It’s a program about the life of young girls and young boys. In the program, we have young girls and young boys, and on the one hand girls blame boys, and on the other hand boys blame girls. So we try to sweep away all that, and to look for a solution”. Her objective is, in the end, to go beyond differences, preconceived ideas and prejudices, to find a lasting solution to the difficulties of the youth.

Some encouraging reactions…

Lilian can already share the results of her action, and particularly her impact towards the members of her community:
We have audience interventions, parents for example who recognise our way of doing things, parents who encourage what we do, and we are happy if we noticed that it changed something.
From the girls’ side, she can see small changes in the mentality “girls are mainly interested in marriage. But when we are involved in contributing even a little to the education of our sisters, our brothers, we think it is a satisfaction”. Liliane’s actions manage to change ancestral conceptions about the position and the role of women.

And some ambitious perspectives!

But Liliane doesn’t plan on stopping now, as she already thinks about the future with nice perspectives: “in 5 years, I would like to widen our reach. We give an education with radio broadcasted program in a local radio.’’
If we could widen our reach, I think that we can help change a lot of things.
She is indeed well conscious of the fact that, as commendable as her action can be, it is still limited to her community even when the problem is much bigger: “this problem of deficiency in basic education doesn’t only exist in our community. There are communities around us with the same problem but we don’t know how to reach young people from other communities”. Nonetheless, today she can help to be proud of what she has already done: “in everything I do, I think I am satisfied."
I am happy of what I do because in our culture, girls don’t have this courage. We are proud of what we do.

Shout Out