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Beninya, 43

Beninya was born in Kiumbe and is the second born of eight children. She attended school until the age of ten when she developed a problem with her eye and had to drop out due to severe pain. In the years following, she spent a lot of time in hospitals. Her family payed for her medical bills with the help of community organized fundraisers. She was married at the age of nineteen and had her first of four children that same year. She and her husband raised live stock until they sold them all to help pay for school fees.

With the help of her baskets, she has been able to send all four of her children to school, with the youngest in primary and the eldest attending University. Working from early morning into the evening, Beninya is the sole provider of the family as her husband has been unable to find work in over two years. She contin- ues to experience issues with her eye, visiting a doctor 70 Km away every two months. Her basket sales are how she is able to pay for her hospital visits, so whenever she’s idle she crochets. When her eye is irritated she cannot go into the kitchen with smoke so her husband cooks and helps with other chores on their small family farm.

Joining the Adult Literacy program has changed Beninya’s life. Prior to learning to crochet, she had just sold her livestock, accumulated some debt, and pulled her children from school. Since then, she has been able to sell enough baskets to clear her debt and continue funding her children’s schooling. She is thank- ful for the community of women she works with and the work they do.