In honor of International Women's Day, FilmAid celebrates Film Training Graduate Amina Rwimo Hortence whose ambition is never limited by her circumstances.
I am 24 years old and a Congolese refugee living in Kakuma Refugee Camp. From the start of my career to now I have achieved many things of which I am very proud of. I currently manage my own production company called Exile Key Films with other filmmakers based in Kakuma Refugee Camp. We take on a variety of productions from local agency projects to assisting on international productions.
Our new film, directed by myself, is called 'It Has Killed My Mother' and will be released very soon (check out the trailer below). It is about Female Genital Mutilation. I wanted to complete this project to answer my own question, "Why should a girl be cut?" and to raise awareness of FGM. Too many women bleed to death during this procedure that often takes place against their will. Many children are left without their mothers after complications at birth due to FGM. This affects the rest of the child's life.
I graduated from FilmAid in 2015, after which I worked as a Film Training Facilitator until recently. The Skills Development (Film Training Program) helped me to achieve my goals. If it was not for the training I got from FilmAid I couldn’t have achieved what I have today. The training I received made me who I am.
The most important thing for me to achieve my career goals is for people to believe in me, that I will take every opportunity I get as a stepping stone towards being who I want to be in the future. The knowledge I have now is not enough. I want my company to continue to grow so that I can be self-reliant and give back the knowledge I have to the community. In Kakuma many women are prevented from achieving their goals because of their culture and beliefs restricting them. Those who can talk on their behalf should be telling their story through visual communication and make the changes they need to gain back control of their lives. The percentage of women speaking on behalf of themselves is too little.
I myself face many obstacles. The knowledge I have is still not enough. I need more training in how to promote the work I produce and get it seen by others. It is very difficult to market my company, living in Kakuma.
Women need more opportunities like scholarships and training so that they can gain the skills to start their own businesses. This will encourage independence and enable other young women and girls from the refugee community to look up to them.
Follow FilmAid on Twitter and Facebook for more inspiring stories of the women of FilmAid. International Women's Day is March 8, 2017. Support FilmAid and help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world.