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Portraits of Etienne Dewena and Monique Djoro

Cash Assistance for survivors of armed conflict

In the Central African Republic, over 1.1 million people have been displaced and forced to flee their homes since the eruption of armed violence in 2012.  

Like Etienne Dewena. 

The 57-year old father is from the Bolom 1 village in Batangafo, a town where the Ouham and Fafa rivers converge, and where violence in 2019 forced him to flee with his children to the village of Gbakaya.  

They were safer and together, and yet, Etienne Dewena worried -- he could not provide for the basic needs, including food, health care and schooling of his four daughters and two sons.

"I had lost all hope," he says. "I didn't know what to do, especially for my children, who could no longer go to school."

When he returned home to Batangafo, Etienne Dewena learned that World Vision had come to assist the displaced and returned people of Batangafo -- and particularly those living in his village of Bolom 1. 

"One day we received a visit from World Vision," he recounts. "We displaced and returned people were identified as beneficiaries of support of this humanitarian organisation. This NGO sensitised us on WASH practices and gave us money -- 42000 FCFA for 4 months -- so that we can face our daily needs."  

"With this money, I bought agricultural seeds, notably groundnuts and corn, which I sowed at the harvest. I will sell a part for the schooling of my children and another part will help us as food." 

Like Etienne Dewena, Monique Djoro was displaced from Bolom 2, in Batangafo, the community where she was born. As a child, she learned to farm from her parents. 

"When I was little I saw my parents going to the field," says the 71-year old widow. "I asked to accompany them to the field, which gave me a taste for farming. At some point my father gave me a plot of land and I started to farm, until 2019, when I decided to stop because of my health and all the consequences of the war." 

Unable to grow her own food, Monique Djoro could not meet her own needs and depended on the support of her extended family. In 2023, she received cash assistance amounting 168,000 CFA francs from World Vision. 

"Now I am able to meet my food needs, which was not the case before," she says with gratitude. 

In one of the most underfunded humanitarian responses in the world, the Central African Republic has gone from being a forgotten crisis to a neglected emergency -- this is why World Vision has continued to provide humanitarian assistance to children and families, including child protection, food voucher distribution and long-term food security across the Central African Republic. 

In the town of Batangafo, World Vision is operating an interfaith farming group aimed at developing food security, including the distribution of agricultural kits consisting of shovels, hoes, irrigation kits and seeds. World Vision has also rescued and rehabilitated former child soldiers, providing them and other youth with the tools they need to build peaceful futures. 

With support from the Humanitarian Coalition and Global Affairs Canada, World Vision is working towards ensuring that the Central African Republic's most vulnerable -- like Etienne Dewena and his children, or elders like Monique Djoro -- receive the care, support and dignity they deserve.