There is a pivotal point in everyone’s young life where receiving an encouraging word or a gift equipping you to pursue a dream changes the trajectory of your life. For Celine, it was a simple sewing machine from the Gift Guide that empowered her to start her own business.
As a twenty-four-year-old young woman in Rwanda, Celine had been at a crossroads in her life.
Living with her mother, she had no job or specific skills to gain employment, despite graduating secondary school. The two lived off the income they could gain from their cow’s milk sales, but her mother’s plot of land was too small to support them both. As Celine grew into an adult, she had no way to meet her own basic needs, such as feminine hygiene products, clothing, or food. What could she do?
Her only hope, she recalls, was her belief in God’s goodness to be with her. She spent much of her time participating in her church’s choir, where she gleaned comfort.
When Food for the Hungry (FH) Rwanda arrived in her community, they began hosting garden training and education, offering fruit and veggie seeds to start kitchen gardens. They taught community members how to prepare balanced meals through cooking classes. Celine and her mother attended the training sessions many times, receiving vegetable seeds and creating their own kitchen garden. Within no time, they could experienced the benefits of a healthy, nutritious diet thanks to FH Rwanda’s training and the donors partnered with the community.
Soon, Celine began attending a four-month vocational training in tailoring hosted by FH, and received guidance to help start her own business. At the completion of the course, she was given a sewing machine.
Learning to sew empowered Celine to employ herself. All it took to spark her potential was a sewing machine, training, and the encouragement that she was capable.
“Now I have hope that the future is good for me as I am equipped with vocational skills that can help me everywhere I might be,” says Celine.
Today, Celine spends her time building her tailoring business in her home. Though she is just beginning, her customer base is growing more and more each day. Even her neighbours delight that they no longer have to travel far distances to get a new shirt or patch up holes from everyday wear and tear! She is already dreaming of all the possibilities of her business, and she plans to open up her own cloth shop in the nearby center to expand her business.
Already, Celine’s life is being renewed by her new-found hope for the future!
Celine can now provide for her own basic needs. She no longer has to rely on her mother’s resources to purchase food, water, new clothes, medication, and feminine hygiene products. Instead, neither Celine or her mother will go hungry, and she can begin saving to invest in her future. Talk about a transformation!
“I was not able to buy basic necessities in my life as a young girl. I was jobless with no source of income until I got trained by FH Rwanda on tailoring skills and provided with a sewing machine,” she exclaims. “I thank God for having sent us FH in our area.”
The other young women who attended training with Celine are also experiencing this same hope, and she is proud of them! Together, she explains, they can serve their community with their new skill, which will help to strengthen their community’s economy. Who knew a little needle and thread could have a ripple effect and transform so many lives?
Any support can have an impact on one’s life, an FH Rwanda staff member remarked. Celine was simply given a sewing machine through the Gift Guide. And now the machine and training is helping her meet daily needs and opening up dreams for the future, thanks to support from Canadian donors.
Today, Celine smiles, knowing she has hope for her future. She has confidence that she is capable, and that she has what she needs to build a successful future.
Curious how to give a sewing machine? Visit our Gift Guide.