Elisa's Journey of Possibility

On the bustling streets of Kinshasa, Elisa weaves her way through the crowds and heads through the door of our partner’s centre. It’s open day for graduates and she’s there to share her story.

As Elisa stands up to speak, she looks out to the women sitting in front of her, and at once feels kinship with them.

She has sat where they are, made the same difficult decision to sell herself as they have, and endured similar experiences. But also, she had the same drive to leave and make a better life for herself, as they do.

Her story is proof that it can happen – that their lives can be filled with joy and possibility too.

"When I thought of my past, sometimes I could only cry, but now when I look back, I see how far I have come."

An offer of friendship

Jeanne, an outreach worker, was visiting one of the prevalent areas for sexual exploitation when she met Elisa. It was during this meeting that Jeanne simply offered her support and friendship.

Over several months of visits, Elisa gradually opened up and in response Jeanne told her that “Jesus died for her and that He has good plans for her life”.


In 2019, Elisa joined our partner’s training course. She progressed well in the educational modules, but it was in tailoring where she really excelled.

Her mentor, Annie, described her as a very intelligent and capable young woman – someone who could apply her gifts to business.

It was also during the training course that Elisa dedicated her life to the Lord. The Programme Leader, Sabine, remarked on the profound change in her self-esteem and confidence.

At the end of the course, Elisa passed her exams with distinctions.

Finding her Spark

Elisa teamed up with fellow graduates - Rachel and Joyce - and together they made plans to set up a tailoring shop.

Elisa and her business partners found a stall with lots of passing trade. They worked hard to present their shop and networked to establish their customer base.

Adapting plans

Although the location of the stall was ideal for customers, Rachel and Joyce realised the commute was too long. When Elisa was able to pay for the rent of the stall herself, it released the others to set up a stall closer to their homes.

Even though this was not the original plan, the women agreed very amicably to separate.


One year on and Elisa’s business continues to strengthen. She’s added sandals to her product range which has attracted more customers and improved her profits.

She is now providing for herself, continues to grow in her faith, and is a role model to others.

And to top it all off, she shared with us that she has recently become engaged!

Due to the sensitive nature of her story we have changed her name.

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