Dorottea
20
Rwanda
Seamstress

My name is Dorottea and I am 20 years old. My mother passed away when I was only three, and my father passed away when I was five; I am an orphan. I was too young to understand what was going on back then; it still hurts when I see other children call out to their mother. Without parents to provide for me, my problems grew as I got older. I was unable to complete secondary school because I couldn't afford the school fees or materials. I was so thankful when a local church that teamed up with All Across Africa to select vulnerable youth for their Gashora Sewing School chose me to be in the program. There are other students in my class, and many are orphans like me. I thought I was all alone in the world, but my classmates are my family now. After completing our training at the sewing school, my classmates and I will become a cooperative. We were taught how to sew bags for the foreign market, and now we are very good at it. All Across Africa Program Coordinator Modeste Shumbusho is teaching us how to save our money, which will help us in the future. I am happy that we are earning even more money as a cooperative than we have as individual students getting paid a monthly stipend. Working with my peers and producing handbags for the foreign market gives me hope. One day I plan on starting my own business by using my sewing skills, and perhaps I will even have my own family someday. I am thankful that I found people who can help me and change my future from dark to light.