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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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