Meet a few of the women NWC helps
Verena Mukashyaka is one of the youngest women working for Umutima. She is determined to make the best of what Umutima has to offer.
Before joining Nyamirambo Women's Center Verena stayed in her village with her 7 brothers and sisters working at the family home. Her days were spent cultivating the garden and doing household chores. Her father was killed in the Genocide. Her large family ran out of money for school fees and Verena, the last to be born, was forced to stop going to school while in her fourth year.
Now 19 year old Verena makes the long 2.5 hour walk each way to be a member of the Nyamirambo Women’s Center. She is grateful to be learning valuable skills.
Verena says she feels happier now. The women in the group discuss, talk and laugh together. She feels fortunate to be a part of the group. She plans to work hard and one day own her own sewing machine."
During the interview Eugenie's young son stops on his way home from school to visit. His book bag is bulging, heavy with books. Eugenie first came to the Women's Center to learn English.
After the Genocide in December 1994 she and her sister were living in an orphanage. Some European workers wanted to offer her a job. but because she did not speak English they were unable to hire her. It crushed her heart. She vowed to never miss another chance.
Eugenie, now 44 years old, is the sole provider for her family. Her husband is permanently traumatized from the events of the Genocide and is unable to work. The money she earns at the Women's Center provides enough for her family's needs.
Eugenie dreams of one day living in their own home. She hopes to continue with the Women's Center and one day teach others to read and write. She wants to pass along the knowledge so other women can help themselves. She believes this can be accomplished by "working hard and working together".
Walking along the road six years ago, Myriam now 28 years old, was struck by a moto. She was left with a broken leg and a traumatic head injury. Three months in the hospital and another three months healing at home used all the money Myriam had managed to save. The accident has left Myriam with a permanent damage to her left eye.
Myriam lost her parents to the Genocide. But during the difficult times, her older sister provided limited assistance. Her community recommended that she search a way to care for herself and her four year old daughter.
Myriam has been with NWC for nine months now. She has learned to sew and is committed to continuing to learn and develop her skills. Myriam speaks confidently and states: "My story was bad but I have found a new family here at Nyamirambo Women's Center. I can come here and be happy and strong".