Copy of Itara Artisans
Ange is a mother with four children. Before ITARA, Ange struggled to find food for herself and her children, sometimes going a week without enough food for them all. Often, she was evicted from her homes as she couldn’t pay rent and couldn’t afford her children’s school fees. When Best Family Rwanda offered her a place on the ITARA program, she seized the opportunity and is hopeful for a brighter future for her and her children.
Beatrice, mother of 5 children, used to look for temporary jobs such as carrying bricks or gardening for other people. Now, she is an ITARA artisan. Beatrice is detail oriented, and was one of the first artisans who perfected “the little things” like matching up patterns so that the lines would not be off centered in the final product. Because of her attention to detail and spirit of excellence, she serves as a member of ITARA’s quality control review team.
Betty is an inspiration to all the women in the ITARA workshop. Her legs were injured during the genocide, such that she cannot power the machine with her own feet. Despite this, Betty produces beautiful, high-quality products and is a foundational member of the team. The ladies trust her integrity and honesty. Betty works directly with our ITARA staff as a mutual accountability system. Her attention to detail, quiet yet strong presence brings a sense of peace to the ITARA artisan workshop.
Claudine is a shy, yet talented master seamstress in our ITARA artisan group. She is extremely skilled in sewing and always fosters joy and laughter in the ITARA workshop. In fact, she often leads the women in the workshop through prayer, singing and dancing!
During the genocide, Francoise lost her siblings and parents. She is the mother of seven children and lives in government housing. It isn't easy for her to take care of her family but she is happy and full of hope for the great future as an ITARA artisan.
Jacqueline is ITARA's onsite teacher and product coordinator. Much of ITARA's success is directly due to Jacqueline's patience and direction that she provided for the past several years. Jacqueline also enjoys the opportunity to develop pilot projects with ITARA's product designers.
Josiane is a young mother of two children. With no childcare, her kids often come to the workshop after school and she likes to play and care for them during her workshop breaks. Josaine's favorite products are those that she is able to create in red fabric.
Liberee is the newest ITARA artisan, joining in late 2017, and is a woman of great character and a positive attitude. She was born in Kinyinya, soon after her father died during the Genocide. After the death of her husband, she began looking for a way to to have a sustainable income and was excited to join the other moms in ITARA.
Odette loves to dance and sing. She has an endearing personality which radiates warmth. In the beginning, Odette struggled with stitching details, yet, eventually mastered the ITARA products. She now takes pride that her products have the ITARA “stamp of approval.”