The beginning of a new chapter

We wanted to tell you a bit about the woman who stands behind the Families at Risk team. She is as a glowing example of how support from groups like Families at Risk can make a difference to families in need, and the communities they will later call home.

We wanted to share...

Catherine's story

Catherine is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is now a Canadian Citizen.

The war in the DRC has been described as the deadliest war in modern African history – it has claimed the lives of over 5 million people. 

Before the war, Catherine's life in the DRC was wonderful. She was a hardworking and passionate woman who always tried to help her community. Catherine lived life to its fullest, a smile always on her face. When the war started, things changed drastically. Some of her family members dispersed, others experienced atrocities, and others were lost. This was a time of agony, yet she tried to remain strong. Her faith kept her going.

New beginnings

In 2007, Catherine and her family escaped the violence in the DRC and sought refugee status in Canada.  She was prepared emotionally and spirituality to embrace new opportunities, ready to leave all the pain behind and build a new life. 

Without delay, Catherine started English classes at the Red River College and, in 2008, went to the main campus at Red River to pursue a diploma in Community Development and Community Economic Development.

Community involvement

Now, just 7 years later, Catherine facilitates community education on many topics and serves as a bridge between newcomer communities and service providers. 

Catherine volunteers in raising awareness on violence against women, specifically on rape as a weapon of war in the DRC. She is the chair of S.O.S “Women in Action” – Sisters of Strength within the Good Seed Church and organizes an event for International Women’s Day each year to build stronger spiritual and social connections between community members.

Catherine on Marie

Marie was my youngest sister. She was a hard working woman and proud to raise her children...She died with dignity defending women's rights and I’m so proud to be her sister... because it’s what I’m doing here in Winnipeg, raising awareness about violence against the voiceless in [third world countries,] such as the DRC, where women are not considered as human beings.”