Egidia
39
Rwanda
Basket Weaver
4 children

My name is Egidia. I am 39 years old. I have four children: three girls and one boy. I learned how to weave from my friend Priscilla; I have been weaving baskets for four years now. It is hard to take care of my children as I am on my own. My first husband died and my second husband was abusive to me, even abusing me when I was pregnant. One day my husband got sick and refused to go to the hospital for treatment. He infected me with the disease he had; thankfully my friend Priscilla got medicine that helped both me and me and my husband get better. That did not solve my problems, though. My husband was still unkind and would take the money I made at the market and waste it on alcohol. I tried to leave him, but he would not let me. Eventually, the children and I left and we were homeless. We were searching for food and shelter. So I turned to Priscilla and she helped me to ask the Lord for help. I prayed to God for me to be able to get a house of my own, and to have even just 5000 Rwandan francs (around $8 USD). I am grateful for Priscilla because she was like a sister to me. She took care of me and so did All Across Africa. All Across Africa built me and my children a wonderful house that we live in. We are now safe and because I now know how to weave baskets I have an income. I have even been able to forgive my husband, though I cannot be with him. After I was dreaming of one day having 5000 Rwandan francs, All Across Africa came and bought some baskets from me and I had 16000 Rwandan francs (around $26 USD). I was so happy I didn’t even know what to buy. Since then I have continued to weave, and it’s as if I have left poverty behind me. I have been able to go to the doctor whenever one of us is sick. I hope to continue weaving as long as I can. I love being able to weave with the women in my community. Since I am a single mother, they all provide me with a lot of support and advice; I tell Priscilla and the other ladies my problems and they comfort me.