We sat down with some of our earliest artisan partners to find out what education means to them and why they are so passionate about their work with Indego!
President of Twiyubake Cooperative
Jacqueline Musabyimana is one of Indego’s first artisan partners at Twiyubake Cooperative. As president of Twiyubake, the manager of her own cleaning company, a mother of six, and a leader in her community, Jacqueline knows what it means to be a hardworking and empowered woman. Since she began partnering with Indego in 2009, Jacqueline has used the lessons she has learned to build a prosperous future for herself and her family.
I decided to join Indego Africa because I understood Indego’s “big picture.” I wanted to change my life and Indego gave me an opportunity to get myself out of poverty.
I was very vulnerable after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. I lost both of my parents, and for many years, I felt hopeless about my future and the future of my seven brothers. Together, we strived to survive with limited resources, but I couldn’t provide any help because I didn’t have a job. Indego Africa explained to me that they were not going to give me fish but instead, teach me how to catch them. After hearing that, I had zero hesitations about joining Indego Africa.
Three months in, I sold my first order! I sold eight plateau baskets and it was the first time in my life I was able to buy enough food and clothes for my family. I even had enough money to purchase a mobile phone! In 2009, a mobile phone was a true symbol of a civilized citizen in our village, and I will never forget how proud I felt in that moment.
I now own a piece of land and a big house with multiple television sets. My entire family is covered by health insurance and we eat good food. But I know material things alone cannot fully represent my growth. I have grown in many ways since partnering with Indego. I’ve learned to think big! My self-esteem has gone up and I am proud of the dignified and empowered woman I’ve become. It is because of the skillsets and mindset Indego has equipped me with that I can wear so many hats in life.
The part of my work that I am most proud of is the time I get to spend at the cooperative. I am responsible for more than 40 members, young and old. We’ve recently been joined by a group of younger women and we love them. They are the new life blood of our cooperative! The responsibilities I assume at Twiyubake are a good exercise in management and remind me of the things I can do to help improve other people’s lives.
When I used to set goals, I sometimes worried that they would only be wishes, or that they would be forgotten and unachievable. My prime goal in life used to be to own an adequate home. Today, I own a big house and although it’s still under construction, my goal is to complete that house by next year. Another goal I’ve always had is educating my children. I strive to make sure my children grow up well and receive quality education.
When it comes to my professional goals, I still want to own my own handcraft store so I can utilize all of the vocational and business skills I’ve learned from partnering with Indego Africa. I’ve been trying to save money so I can invest in this project because owning my own store is my number one professional goal.
I like to remind myself that with hope and persistence, my dreams can become a reality. If you make plans and feed your ideas hope, persistence, and education, your projects will be successful.
In the future, I’m looking forward to continuing to have good health because I know any sickness will only impede the progress I’m making on my projects and I really want to see all of the projects I’ve undertaken be successful. I also want my children to finish their studies and grow up happy and healthy.
I will sum up what my partnership with Indego Africa means to me in just a few, important words: Education is a powerful tool to change women’s lives. My life has been greatly impacted by the education I’ve received from Indego Africa and I am very thankful for that.