Sarra is a young woman full of joy. She was born with a condition called kyphosis which causes curving of the spine. She joined the project in February 2015 and lives outside Kigali with her parents. She enjoys learning new skills through the workshops and studying English. You can often hear her singing as she goes about her day. Her dream is to become a business woman and own a shop one day.
Theophile is a spirited young man. He was only fourteen years old during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and lost both his parents and two siblings during that time. He managed to escape and hide with a friend. Later, he found his sister thanks to the Red Cross. Twenty-one years later, he lives in a half-finished house that belongs to the same friend he was hiding with in 1994. He works part-time with a local bus company as a conductor. Theophile contracted polio when he was a child which left him with weak legs. Despite that, he has a vibrant personality and continues to bring a lot of positive energy and an eagerness to learn new skills. He joined the organization at the beginning of 2015.
Jeanne is a grandmother at only 40 years old . She lost her right arm in a car accident that happened on her way to work in 2007. She comes from a family of 12 but lost 7 of her siblings during the 1994 genocide. While she did not get a chance to go to school because her father did not believe in educating girls, she loves the classes at TTA and is happy for the chance to learn English. Jeanne loves weaving baskets and is one of our fastest weavers despite having only one arm. Her newly-gained skills are bringing an extra income to provide for her children and grandchildren.
Emilienne is a young woman determined to succeed. Despite her legs being partially paralyzed due to polio, she is upbeat and very driven. Emilienne was only seven years old during the 1994 genocide and lost both her parents and two siblings. Her brother later found her at an orphanage in Nyamata and she now lives with her aunt in Kigali. Emilienne loves beauty and dreams of owning a beauty salon. She has been with the organization from the start and quickly learnt all the skills such as jewelry making, knitting and crocheting. She weaves baskets on a professional level now and is able to support herself financially. Being a quick learner with a positive attitude, sky is the limit for Emilienne and her dreams. ddreams.
Clementine is a positive young woman even though life hasn’t always been easy. She was born with a condition called kyphosis which causes curving of the upper back. Clementine was widowed after only nine months of marriage when her husband died in a car accident. She says that she was lonely and lost but found new hope through the TTA projects. She especially enjoys learning English which, she says, is very useful for business and talking to foreigners. Clementine is now happily married to her second husband. One day, she would like to own a boutique because she loves fashion and style.
Josee is a young woman determined to make a better life for herself and her three-year-old son. She struggled to support them both without a steady job and decided to send him to live with his grandmother. While it breaks her heart to be away from her son, she works very hard to earn a steady income so they can be reunited again. Josee was born without right foot and left leg up to the knee. She was a beneficiary of the Lillian Foundation in Rwanda where she attended primary school, and later learned sewing. One of the main challenges in Kigali was to find enough money to buy a sewing machine and start her own business. She is now living at the TTA house in Kigali where her son visits her regularly, and is very optimistic about the future. She is one of our best weavers and thanks to the new skills she gained through our workshops, she is becoming financially independent.
Catherine is a strong woman. She survived the 1994 genocide but lost her right leg in an explosion which killed her mother. Currently, she lives with relatives, but has no children and never married. Catherine is a devoted Christian and church has a central role in her life. In church, she found comfort in hard times and new friends who are like a family to her. Her dream is to build her own house. She is very enthusiastic about our projects and loves the opportunities the NGO has given her. She is certain that the project is helping her build a new life. Catherine is now able to support herself financially through basket weaving and selling mobile vouchers.
Fortunee is a mother of a young girl. Together they live on the outskirts of Kigali. Fortunee was born with a condition that left her partially paralyzed at the age of seven. She comes from a family of 12 children but unfortunately lost 8 of her siblings during the 1994 genocide. Another of her siblings died of AIDS. Despite all that has happened to her, she is staying positive. Although she used to struggle to provide for herself and her daughter she now makes earrings for TTA which brings her some needed income. TTA also supports her daughter Floriode by paying her school fees. She would like to see her daughter grow up to have a good life, and she believes where there is a will, there is a way. Fortunee says she found her way thanks to the TTA project, and vows to use this opportunity to make life better for her and her daughter.
Our youngest member, Beatrice, is a young girl full of joy. She was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that weakened her muscles but not her spirit. She loves interacting and will always greet you with the biggest smile. She is a wheelchair user and needs 24-hour care. TTA raised money to purchase a new, easier to use, wheelchair, and helps to take her to school every day. Beatrice comes from a big family of 10 children and TTA also supports her sister Pascaline by raising money for her school fees.
John is a smart gentleman and one of the most passionate students. He has never gone to school and is now learning how to read and write both in Kinyarwanda and English. John was involved in an accident which left him in a hospital for over two years, part of that time in a coma. He is now able to walk but with difficulties. John is living with his sister and has two children. His son lives with him but his daughter lives with his wife in Congo where they all come from.
While searching for materials in the Ruhango district, we came across women with physical disabilities who were already experienced weavers. We have keenly incorporated them into TTA and they are now an indispensable part of our basket-weaving team.