For 13 years, Afsa has served as the leader of her Opportunity Rwanda Trust Group located outside Kigali, Rwanda, where she lives with her husband and five children. Afsa, who once struggled to make ends meet selling sugar, rice and flour, now operates a thriving business selling colorful fabric used to craft women’s clothing. Additionally, she built and currently rents two houses, and she is building a small shop to sell her fabrics.
“Before Opportunity Rwanda came,” she said, “most women I know sold their wares by walking up and down the street. They did not own anything - they eked out enough to survive - one day at a time. Some days were not so good. The difference between a good and a bad day was simply whether or not your family had enough to eat. Today, many of us who have become Opportunity clients have much to show for our hard work. Some of us have built homes; others have purchased a motorbike or car. All of us have invested substantially into our families.Opportunity Rwanda is a ladder that raises you from one place to another - the place I am today is much better!”
Most significantly for Afsa, Opportunity Rwanda has helped her instill leadership skills among women, who are traditionally underappreciated. She strives to empower women as they learn the importance of discipline and handling money in ways that build trustworthiness and integrity. “It pleases me to know that people trust my guidance. Whenever I am chosen to lead, I am prepared because I feel confident.” According to Afsa, “Opportunity Rwanda teaches Trust Groups how to increase their income, live well in the community, care for their families and serve others. Learning these skills has not only helped me bring my business to profitability, but also improves my ability to partner with other women and community leaders."