Basket Weaver
4 children

My name is Mediatrice and I am 51 years old. I have worked with All Across Africa for 1 year and, as a widow, I am the sole provider for my 4 children. Although losing my husband made life very difficult, I have been able to support my family through weaving. I grew up in the Gitarama area with 8 siblings and my mother. When I was very young, my father left our family to find work in Uganda and never returned. To this day, we are unsure if he is still alive. Because I was the second oldest in my family, I was only able to attend 2 years of primary school before I was forced to remain at home and care for my younger siblings. When I was 12 years old, I learned to weave from a local group of weavers and began to sell my baskets to a foreigner who brought them back to her home country every few weeks. After getting married, I continued to weave as my husband was a photographer and his income lacked consistency. However, when he died in 1997 from an illness, I struggled to support my family on weaving alone. I eventually joined a weaving cooperative, which granted me a more steady and consistent income. By saving, I was able to build a new home close to neighbors and purchase 2 pigs and 4 chickens. Today, I use my income to hire farmers, purchase medical insurance and school fees, and save for the future. Weaving has allowed me to live an independent life and provide for my family, especially after the death of my husband. Each day, I am blessed by my children and by my work. Everything I do, and each basket I weave, is for their future. My dream is to see all of my children finish their education and succeed in life, so that they can take care of me when I am old and live fulfilling lives.