Step by Step
For years, a group of young people has built a reputation for being behind violent attacks in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo’s capital. “These young people sow terror in the city,” says Ghislaine Matondo, who lives in the city with her husband, mother, and sister. Yet little has been done to address the danger, she explains: “Juvenile delinquency in our neighborhoods is a sensitive matter [to which] even politicians do not dare give concrete answers.”
In 2020, Ghislaine took out her fifth loan from HOPE Congo to start a new venture: Merci pour la Bénédiction (“grateful for the blessing”), a business manufacturing sofas. But she says that the Lord gave her more than a new business idea; He also gave her a vision to address the challenge of gang violence in her community. “I decided to bring these young people back into my workshop, so that they could learn a trade instead of spreading terror in the city,” she says.
Today, Ghislaine has welcomed eight young men as apprentices and hopes to expand her facility to make room for 12 more. While Ghislaine provides food, medical care, transportation, and even housing for those who needed it, the men work under the senior carpenter to gain skills in furniture joinery.
Just as HOPE has invested in her as an entrepreneur over many years by offering financial services, training, and discipleship, so Ghislaine seeks to care for her apprentices holistically. “I continue praying for and with them,” she says. “Spiritual transformation is something that should come gradually, step by step.”
The impact of Ghislaine’s step of faith has been mutual. “I did not have the chance to have children—all this was not easy for me,” she says. “I love these children as if they were my own children. Caring for these children is my ministry; it is a mission that God has entrusted to me.”
You can have an impact on communities around the globe by investing in entrepreneurs like Ghislaine. For more information on how you can get involved, contact Kirstin Dhlamini at firstname.lastname@example.org.