Christine
Rwanda
Basket Weaver
Married
9 children

I am Christine. I managed to survive the genocide but lost many of my friends and family; my family is nothing like it used to be. I now live with my husband and nine children: five children are from my first marriage and four children are from my husband’s first marriage. My oldest child is 36 years old. Life was especially hard for me before I started weaving baskets. The best I could do to feed my family back then was farming. But as you know subsistence farming barely brings enough money. The work was strenuous and gave me no money for my children’s education. Thankfully, making baskets and selling to All Across Africa is easing some of the difficulties of bringing up my children. It has given me the strength to change not only my life, but also the lives of the people around me – my income is blessing my neighbors and community as well. I started basket making for All Across Africa about four years ago. I started by just weaving one basket at the end of each day of farming. Now I am able to spend my day weaving several baskets. This generates enough money for me to hire three workers to help me with my farming, and to purchase cows. My workers help me gather grass and grow green fodder for my cows. I cannot begin to tell you how basket weaving has changed so many aspects of my life. My neighbors are also grateful for getting work and income by working my land! The money I make has given me access to skilled doctors and good medicine which has provided me with treatment for my chronic stomach issues and asthma. My children’s future now looks promising. Earlier, only my oldest son could go to school. But now through the money I make selling baskets, all my children are able to go to school. I am so happy that I can provide this education for my children so that they will be able to sustain themselves when they grow up.