#FirstFriends: Chantal Nyirabambari
August 10, 2017
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 Imirasire Cooperative
Chantal Nyirabambari began partnering with Indego Africa in 2009 when she joined Imirasire Cooperative and learned how to weave. She graduated from Indego’s Leadership Academy in January of 2016 and has since been elected president of her cooperative twice! Chantal uses the business skills she’s learned from her partnership with Indego to better the management of her cooperative and her local community.
I wanted to partner with Indego because I knew they provided us with access to markets. This has enabled each woman to find work and in turn, earn money and help their families. Indego's payment system also encourages us to work hard and create good partnerships with each other. The Indego team also gives great advice! In my business and leadership classes, they are always mentoring us and providing opportunities for follow up.
Before partnering with Indego, I was a farmer and earned very little money. now, I am a business woman with a bank account! I have three houses and two motorcycles that my child and husband use, I have a television, and I have clean water and electricity in my home. I was able to purchase all of these things because I saved my money and invested the income I made from fulfilling purchase orders for Indego Africa. I am proud to say that I can also afford my child's school fees. These are not things I was able to do before working with Indego.
Indego has been my savior in terms of getting a job and earning an income. Every positive change in my life has been the result of working with Indego. I was also very happy to a part of the Leadership Academy because I got the chance to learn and receive powerful advice from members of the Indego team, including Rwanda Country Director, Rosine Urujeni.
When I was elected the president of Imirasire Cooperative for the second time, I got very emotional. It feels good to know that I am a person who is trusted by others to help lead the cooperative and the community. I am also proud to be a talented woman who helps bring money to the cooperative. By helping other people, I am building both my community and my country.
In the future, I am looking forward to living my best possible life. I have goals to finish building a third house for my family, continue mentoring new cooperative members so they can be successful, and continue saving money I make from working with Indego. I know I will be able to retire safely and successfully because I am committed to my work, patient with my life, and an active participant in my community.