Priscilla
Rwanda
Basket Weaver
Married
2 children

My mother taught me how to weave when I was seven years old. I have been weaving ever since, but now weaving allows me to contribute to my family’s financial needs and helps us have a better future. Weaving has helped me a lot; as a woman I am now able to solve small personal problems without having to ask my husband for help. For example, when I want salt in the house, I am able to buy it without disturbing my husband, and I am able to pay tuition for my children and my sister-in-law’s children without bothering my husband. My family was deeply affected by the genocide. All of my brothers died so only the girls in my family were left; I was the oldest so I had to take care of my family. As the new head of the family I thought that I would never be able marry, but after some time I did get married. After the genocide weaving brought our whole community together. It wasn’t easy because we all thought differently about what had happened; everyone was affected by the genocide in different ways. When you talk to others in the community you realize that there are even people who have more problems than you do; this enables us all to talk about our problems and helps us heal. The weaving has not only brought us together to heal, it has improved our lives in other ways; almost everyone in the cooperative has a savings account now through the commercial bank. We are able to make payments in our accounts and save our money. Weaving and having a bank account have led me to my biggest accomplishment so far in life, owning my own house without having to pay any rent. Now I can even help my children fulfill their dreams. My son’s dream is to be a mechanic and a driver. My daughter’s dream is to be a doctor. Before I never had any dreams for my children’s future, but now I do. I am even working towards my dream of having enough savings to sustain me when I am older.