Mbuyi must hurry. It’s five PM, and she is determined to feed all her children before the sun sets. Deep in the rural countryside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is no electricity. Before long, darkness will force Mbuyi and her 15 children into their one-room, grass-thatched hut to sleep on a single mattress. Most will use the floor. “We eat one meal a day,” she says. Raising 15 children would be difficult under the best circumstances. Mbuyi and her husband, Kebwe, support their family of 17 on roughly $2 a day. Mbuyi and the older children often forgo food so her littlest ones get enough. She sacrifices everything for her children, even when it puts her life at risk.
In this issue of Pathways, Mbuyi, a mother of 15 children, discovers she has a choice about pregnancy.