Amina is refugee from Congo who speaks English as her fourth language. Below is her story in her own words.
My role model is a Kenyan Actress Lupita Nyong’o. In 2014, when she won her Oscar she said, “No matter where you are from your dreams are valid.” Those words spoke straight into my heart. I heard them here in the camp.
I was born in DRC. But because of the war and violence, I was forced to run away. I only have painful memories. I have lost my whole family. I prefer not to talk about it.
I came here in 2009. [At first] I got a job as a caseworker. I was helping women who went through sexual and gender based violence. They could share their story with me. I could share my own story with them. We could understand each other better because I am a survivor too.
I wanted to do more to help them, but I did not know how. [Then, one day] I saw an advertisement that FilmAid was looking for young people who were willing to join their film training. I had my answer. This was how I was going to help those women I met. I had so many stories that I wanted to tell the world. I believed film could change people’s lives.
I trained for one year. I worked REALLY hard. At the end, I won best director in the class. I was so proud of me. I had faced my fear. I had made a film. I had found my voice. I made a decision. THIS is my calling. It is my passion. I wanted my voice and the voices of other refugees to be heard.
The next film I made was about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). It is called IT HAS KILLED MY MOTHER. It has won international awards.
I was interviewed on TV. My story was published in the newspaper. It was unbelievable. And now I am establishing my own production company called Exile Key Film.
My message to my fellow refugees and young women is: Don’t wait for tomorrow. Use every opportunity that you have. And never, ever, give up. Your dreams are valid too.