Maria
Rwanda
Basket Weaver

My name is Maria, and I was a poor farmer until three years ago. Back then, I could not buy proper food or even soap. Living in poverty led to struggle in every aspect of my life. I am so glad that I was able to leave that life behind once I found work with All Across Africa. Earning money through All Across Africa has created a chain of positive actions. With the money I saved from selling my baskets I was able to buy a cow. That cow produced another one, and I was able to sell that cow. Now I can afford to buy nutritious food and soap. Good food and being clean make me feel happy and beautiful. Before I started selling my baskets, I could only get good food and clothes on Christmas; with the extra money I now make it’s almost like celebrating Christmas every day! My favorite food is meat with rice and now my family and I can enjoy it whenever we want. I can see a similar chain of positive actions with other members in my community. People who have more money are now able to buy more goods, which creates more business opportunities in the village. Sometimes I think about all those women in America who buy my baskets. What would life be like for us in Rwanda if they did not want our baskets? They love our baskets, and, because they do, I can get good food, good clothes, and a great life.