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.