When Alida* first came to the Homecare Sewing Center in Bujumbura, she had no clothes and was extremely weak. She was an orphan and because of that had been forced to move from home to home working for her keep. This young girl was abused everywhere she went. At one home where she lived for a long time, she was awakened at 4 am and sent out to work in the garden until 4 pm. As soon as she came in from the garden, she was sent to the bar to sell drinks until midnight. The woman she worked for would collect everything Alida made and send her to bed hungry. She would tell her, “You’re just nobody.” She beat her for wanting to go to church but Alida says God kept her safe.
A graduate of the Homecare Sewing Center took Alida in and brought her to the center where she gained sewing skills, received food and spiritual discipleship. Alida is grateful for the big and small blessings she has received. “I wore my first shoes in this place,” Alida says of the center.
Alida graduated from the sewing center in June of 2014. She received a sewing machine, a stipend to start her business and equally importantly, a family to support and encourage her as she moves into her future.
* Not her real name.