Rosaria
Rwanda
Basket Weaver
Widowed
4 children

My name is Rosaria. I lost my husband and many of my children in the genocide. I have four children who survived, and two of them are married now and are also weavers. Being poor and old is a big curse. If you are young you can work hard to make money, but now that I am old my body doesn’t allow me to work as hard. I used to make baskets and sell them in a Roman Catholic Church for 300–500 Rwandan francs (about 50 – 80 cents). I was the only one providing for my family’s needs. I wanted desperately to fulfill my children’s wishes. But old age and poverty made this hope difficult to achieve. Thankfully, All Across Africa gave me strength in my old age. I weave baskets for them and use that money to help provide for my family. Both of my daughters have also joined the cooperative, so we both help each other. I get a lot of support and encouragement from being in this cooperative since I know that we are all working to help support each other; I finally have a secure source of income. I have seen how life has changed for my neighbors and friends. My only worry now is if the foreign market will remain strong in its desire for our baskets. I hope that the American people will continue to support us in our work as we rebuild our lives.