Life Histories


Democratic Republic of the Congo

“I am a widow. I was living in a house that would one day fall on my head. With the arrival of Riverkeeper, I started to have a glimmer of hope. I was given a business to work and live in peace. My concern was also to have a house. The Riverkeeper Foundation responded favourably by building a house for me out of planks. It was a dream for me, because I didn’t know that one day I would have a house where I could sleep away from all the bad weather.

Today I have just bought a rented field on which I will plant beans and maize. I can’t thank the Fondation Sentinelles enough for giving me the courage to fight for the well-being of my children. “




At 24 years old, Maria (alias) is the mother of three children, two of whom are girls aged 7 and 4, who were probably sexually assaulted. Powerless, she is violent to the older one. During the Family Meetings created by Sentinelles, she learns how to become responsible and provide a healthy family environment for her children.

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Burkina Faso

“My name is Fatimata and I believe I am 45.”

Fatimata suffers from fistulas since complications during a delivery that turned into a caesarean and the loss of the baby. The most visible symptom is acute incontinence. She had been suffering from it for 5 years before being taken care of by Sentinelles.

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Omar (alias) was born in 2013. He is fighting off noma. His severe anaemia deprives him of a necessary surgical procedure for now. At the Madoua care centre in Niger, he benefits from medical treatment to be cured of fistulas, of severe malnourishment and of a growth retardation. But what is striking about this little boy is his incredible lust for life and beyond normal resilience.

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On March 3, 2013, Diera was attacked by a “dahalo”, a thug. She was only 19. Her family finds her, left for dead after more than ten axe blows to her face, her neck and her back. A long fight starts then to recover, physically and mentally, during which Diera shows unbelievable courage and dignity.

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