Friday, May 19, 2006

 

“We believe we are the guarantee,” Emerita Mukayiranga


While Manny went to the airport to pick up Selma, Anne, Richard, Loretta, and Julia met with Emerita Mukayiranga co owner of Mamans Sportifs, a conference center and facility for sewing and training. Mamans Sport was born as the answer to the question women asked themselves after the genocide, “How will I walk”? The idea of getting a place after the genocide where women could come to talk and, do business and projects was the answer. Yet, when they tried to convince banks to loan money for the project, they were told they need a guarantee which they didn’t have. Emerita and her partner decide “We are the guarantee. We believe in ourselves—we believe we are a guarantee,” and they raised the funds themselves.
The facility is well situated and has a very peaceful feel. A cool breeze added to the comfortable feeling as we toured the grounds. Emerita recently lost government business, as they now are encouraged to hold their meetings in-house and she needs help in developing new accounts and business for the women who train to sew.
Emerita has been a force in educating women in the rural areas. She started a literacy program which has expanded across the country. Emerita uses profits from her business to pay salaries, hire teachers, materials for classrooms for 36 sites. She wishes to take advantage of an opportunity to purchase a larger, more modern facility in an affluent neighborhood where she can offer conference and event space as well as daycare and hostel accommodations.
Certainly Emerita walks with many women and now we can work to help her be a ‘Fast Runner.”
Comments:
Okay, I'll admit it, reading this may me cry - tears of sadness, but also tears in recognition of these women's strength, dignity, tencaity, and wisdom. We have a lot to learn as well as a lot to teach. Love to all, Golde.
 
I love the way Emerita thinks. This is great. We need to find her a mentor who is as creative and brave as she is.

--Toni
 
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Okay, I'll admit it, reading this may me cry - tears of sadness, but also tears in recognition of these women's strength, dignity, tencaity, and wisdom. We have a lot to learn as well as a lot to teach. Love to all, Golde.
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