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Impact stories
Economic empowerment

Stitching success: Blandine's journey to empowerment

Apr 17, 2024

Together, we can improve the lives of Burundians.

Across Burundi, our programs are empowering communities to live healthy lives and improve their living conditions.


Blandine Habonimana's journey is a powerful testament to resilience. Living with a disability in Makamba, Burundi, Blandine faced numerous obstacles from a very young age.


Despite these challenges, she has carved a path of empowerment through her work as a seamstress at the SaCoDé Makamba Center.


At just two years old, Blandine contracted a disease that impaired her right lower limb. Although her disability made schooling difficult, her parents supported her education. She began her schooling in a Tanzanian refugee camp and continued in Burundi until health complications forced her to leave school in the ninth grade. She recalls:

The physical challenges and subsequent surgeries made continuing my education impossible

Life didn't get easier after her education was cut short. At home, she was often seen as a burden, and a failed relationship left her a single mother, struggling to make ends meet. She shares:

Living alone with my child, facing the weight of our basic needs—it was overwhelming!

However, Blandine's spirit remained unbroken. In 2023, an opportunity arose that would change her life:

I heard a radio announcement that SaCoDé was offering a tailoring training program. I applied, eager for a chance to turn my life around.

During the three-month program, Blandine mastered the craft of sewing—from creating sanitary pads to fashioning backpacks. Her hard work paid off, and she was offered a position at SaCoDé.

Today, Blandine is not just a seamstress; she's a provider, a creator, and a pillar of strength for her child.

Thanks to SaCoDé, I now have a stable job that respects my abilities and overlooks my disability. I'm proud to say that I am self-sufficient and can provide for my family.

Blandine's story is not just about overcoming disability; it's about the strength of the human spirit and the transformative power of opportunity. Through SaCoDé's "Menya Umwuga" project, she has found more than just employment—she has regained her dignity and a sense of purpose.

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