I am 36 years old, the mother of two sons, and living with my husband.
Before coming to Aspire, I was a nobody. I had a bad relationship with my husband because it was his responsibility to cater to all the family’s financial needs. As a stay-at-home mother with no job, I was very lonely and frustrated. Nobody could hear me, there was no one to talk to, and I cried every day because I had no hope for my future.
Before joining Aspire, I could not earn or even touch a single coin unless my husband gave it to me; I only used to do house work, take care of the children and wait until my husband came back from work and gave me money for things we needed at home. Raising children is a great job, but if a wife doesn’t earn any money then the husband despises her.
Having my children at home without toys and other children to play with was a big problem. But now the Aspire childcare programme is helping my son a lot – he is playing, socialising and learning discipline. My son has improved so much in terms of child development. My children are well nourished because of the courses in cookery, hygiene and nutrition.
Since joining Aspire, my life was changed because I have acquired skills that make me confident. I started attending English class in January and I’m now able to communicate and express myself in English. Now I look forward, toward the future.
Since the Aspire cookery course, I have started to make cookies, cakes, chapatti, and mandazi, and I sell them in different supermarkets in downtown Kigali. I earn about 50,000 Rwandan francs ($73) per month. This amount helps me to solve a lot of family issues, and my husband now always tells me how I am a good woman. He has never done that before.
At Aspire I am learning how to save money. I am in a saving group, which we formed after being trained on savings and cooperative formation. Each of the 27 members contributes 1500 Rwandan francs per week ($2) so that we can take out loans if we need them. It is a small amount of money but means a lot to each and every one of us. One day, I hope to own my own restaurant and create jobs for other women.
Above all I appreciate this programme, for it has given me hope for the future through the acquisition of knowledge. My husband is proud of me. My family and community members where I live call me a hard-working woman; before this program, my nickname was Lazy Woman. I thank God for Aspire. This achievement is all because of you. When I think of what this programme did for me, I think it is like someone who helps to raise people from the dead; it’s incredible and has led to unbelievable empowerment.