To celebrate the launch of this partnership we’re sharing Martha’s story on what real confidence means.
“I have a vision and a direction,” says Martha Mukambonera, as she describes the changes she has experienced in her life over the past year.
Martha joined Women for Women International’s programme in Kicukiro, Rwanda, where she learned new business skills and made connections with other women that set her on a new path for success.
“The support women need above all else is knowledge,” says Martha. “Poverty, in terms of knowledge, is worse. When one’s mind has been opened, small things can be turned into big things.”
With the business and tailoring skills she studied during the program, Martha started a cooperative called Zamuka Nawe that creates bags. Together, she and the members are each able to save 500 RWF (approximately £0.44 GBP) per week in their Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) account. Today, Martha says, “I am capable of doing business and this way I can improve my life and my family’s.”
Martha says the most important and valuable part of the programme was the knowledge she and her friends received. “It helped me to have confidence in me, not depending on my husband for each and every thing. I wish all women have that opportunity of gaining more knowledge about business, savings, and the spirit of togetherness, because as groups we do great things and we move faster.”
Today, she advocates for women at the village level, and shares what she has learned with others because “[it] took me from where I was to where I am now.” She hopes through her work that “all women [will] progress together, with no one left behind.”
For this reason, Martha says she is inspired by the woman who registered her and other women in her community in Women for Women International’s program one year ago. Because she encouraged her to enrol, Martha has a new outlook on life and looks forward to continuing to grow her business and building the confidence of the women she meets – by leading by example.