Celebrating International Women’s Month – Meet Ancille

At the beginning of 2022, after many years of planning, Azizi Life started building its new home. As a way of supporting the local community and providing much-needed work in the neighborhood, we chose to compete as much of the construction by hand as possible. Everything from levelling the land and digging the foundations to breaking the rocks and mixing the cement were completed by hand.

As is common in Rwanda, much of this work was completed by women. Over 70% of the builders on our site were women and we would like you to meet one of them – Ancille.

My name is Ancille Tuyisenge. I was born in 1984 into a household of six children. It was a good family where we could afford basic necessities like food and clothing.  My father was a builder, and my mother was a farmer. I did not complete my elementary education since I chose to leave school and no one in my family encouraged me to return.  In fact my parents were happy I left and sent me to herd cows, but after a while I realized it was not a smart idea to quit school, and I began to consider attending vocational training institutes, but I could not afford it and my parents did not support my desire to learn sewing or hairdressing.

After 15 years of herding cows for my father, I decided to start my own business and opened my own shop in the village, where I sold various things until I married at 30 years old. My marriage did not work because, sadly, I was constantly at odds with my husband, which resulted in the family getting into financial difficulty. After two years of trying to make the marriage work, I took my daughter and left my husband.

I returned to my parents’ house since I couldn’t afford to pay rent and care for my children on my own. I returned to herd cows for my father, but it was difficult for me because I couldn’t buy what I or my child needed. I lived there for five years.

After a period of struggle, I began the road to self-sufficiency, beginning with the construction of my own home. I begged my father for a plot. I made the mud bricks myself and only hired a builder for the bits I could not do. I gained more experience in construction-related work, and it was a good thing that I learned such abilities as that helped me to get more jobs.

When I realized that Azizi Life had begun construction on an office close to my home in January 2022, I went there right away to apply for a job, which they gladly accepted. With the money I receive each week from Azizi Life I have completed work on my own house. My child attends school and does well in her studies, I now have health insurance, and I can buy some necessities for my family. I spent 25 years living in a cowshed, so working at Azizi Life helped me expand my mind, acquire more building-related skills, and improve my way of life in society. It’s not only about making money, either. I now feel more hopeful since I am safe.

I am continuing to work and strive as I want to expand my house so that I can live there and also earn money from renting part of it.

We are grateful to the Lord for giving Azizi life in our village.

If you would like to Support our continued building work in Rwanda then please consider donating below.

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