Beata
Rwanda
Basket Weaver
Widowed

My name is Beata and I am a widowed weaver. My children and I were shunned by my own family and by my deceased husband’s family. Despised and disowned, we had no one to turn to for help. My children don’t even know their own aunts and uncles. This grieved me because I felt that my family was supposed to provide love and assurance to my children; I am now the only one that can do this for them. These wounds pushed me into a deep depression. I was weighed down by thoughts of suicide. Basket weaving has brought me together with a community of women who are also in similar situations. We have never talked about it though and thought that it was only ourselves that were suffering. The income from the baskets has changed our lives but there is still unresolved bitterness and anger I have carried – even with income and a stable future – it’s more than that. I felt so lonely and angry until I went to a Reconciliation Workshop for our weavers’ cooperative. The workshop reminded me that my children and I are loved and we do have family in God and in His community. I have now been challenged to forgive my family for their disownment of me as God has forgiven all of us for our sins against Him. I believe that God will give me hope as He wipes away my tears.