Constance's Story

Constance Alwoch

My interview with Constance is deeply moving. There is a cloud of sadness permeating her words and her emotions. She lost her mother when she was an infant-the youngest of nine children. This tremendous loss affects her deeply to this day. Her life did not get much easier. In the early 1980's, she was abducted by the rebels and raped. It seems she could never recover from that tragic time in her life.
Constance never went to school. She married and had 6 children although she lost two at birth. Sadly, there is no cultural expectation for the men to care for their families and Constance's husband is no different. She joins the masses of women and works in the stone quarries. The meager income from this work is spent completely on food and rent. She rents only one small room for her family and although some of her children's education are being sponsored through a local church, she's struggling to earn additional income so that, in addition, she can care for her elderly father.
When asked what she wishes for, Constance has a difficult time finding an answer. She quietly tells the interpreter that her life is too difficult, her problems too overwhelming and that she never thinks of herself. All her energy is focused on providing for her family. She would like to visit with her sisters; however, she can not find the time nor the energy to do so. Yet in the face of all this, Constance passes on to her children the values of honesty, kindness, loving and caring for one another.
I ask her what she wishes for and this is her unselfish reply: “I'd like to see orphans and children of single parents receive government assistance to attend school. This will reduce idleness while encouraging youth to be constructive in the world.”
In the face of extreme sadness and violence, Constance maintains her dignity and focus for a better life. Through her full-time bead-making, she is striving to not only be a good example to her children, but also to buy a plot of land in her home village.

Meet Constance and listen how bead-making has changed her and her family's life.




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