On a worn wooden chair inside her dimly lit hut, Rosette Charigufi sits down to share her story of life on the outskirts of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We had a normal life once,” she says. “It was not always easy … but it was enough to live.”
In 2009, Rosette’s family was forced to flee their home due to the ongoing Kivu conflict. The conflict began in 2004 between the military of the Democratic Republic of Congo and an armed rebel group, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. According to the UN, the war in Congo has displaced 4.5 million people internally and forced over 800,000 refugees to flee to other African countries.
“The war represents the worst time of my life,” Rosette says. When the fighting reached her village, both Rosette, 45, and her husband were hit with shrapnel in their legs as pieces of rockets and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were falling nearby.