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Paulina, 48

Paulina was the third of nine children in her family. Her grandmother refused to let her attend school becuase women did not traditionally attend school at that time. Her parents relied on farming for income, and her father was also beekeeper. Her daily chores included taking the livestock to graze, fetching water, and farming.

She married at the age of 20 and had five children with her husband. Later, her husband developed a drinking problem and became physically abusive towards her. Eventually, Paulina left him and returned to her father’s home. She went alone, but soon after her husband sent all of their children to follow her.

She became a single mother of their five children and struggled to support them. She made money by working on others’ farms, and would often travel by foot for four hours, work all day and spend the night before returning the following day. Her first born finished primary school but did not continue to
secondary because of school fees. The second became a hair stylist, another studies computer science at a vocational college, and two married and have started their own families.

The basket making has changed Paulina‘s life in amazing ways. She is able to pay for her son’s college fees and hospital bills for her youngest, who injured his arm badly and needed to be hospitalized. Through her struggles, Paulina has developed incredible strength and resilience, making her a hardworking and caring mother of five great children, and they are what makes her happiest in life. She loves seeing their success and their comfort with their lives.

Paulina
Paulina