Fabiola is 36 years old and has eight children between the ages of 2 and 14. Before she joined Aspire, she was always busy taking care of her children, husband and home. Even though her family was very poor, she had no time to earn money to help feed the children.
But once she joined Aspire, Fabiola’s life began to improve. She learned a marketable skill: hairdressing. In the past 3 months alone, she has made 20,000 Rwandan francs (£20.84/$33.50), allowing her to buy enough food for her family. Her goal is to open her own hair salon.
In addition, Fabiola’s youngest child is now enrolled at Aspire’s childcare centre. He gets morning porridge and lunch every day, which makes Fabiola very happy. She adds that his behaviour has changed and he’s now better able to share and socialise with other children.
Fabiola says that one of her favourite parts of Aspire is the opportunity to be with other women. They share their life experiences, learning from one another and getting advice from each other and from Val, Aspire’s social worker.
Perhaps the most valuable thing Fabiola has earned is respect. She says she has more self-confidence, and her husband respects her more as a result. He encourages her to attend all Aspire’s programmes because he recognises the value of the information and skills she is learning. Even Fabiola’s community has noticed how hard she works. “My neighbours are asking me every day if I can help them join Aspire’s programme,” says Fabiola proudly. “They want to be like me.”