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Alphonsine - Tailor to her village

A woman holding a dress, sewing machine in front
Alphonsine with a dress she is making for a local customer

Alphonsine lives around ten kilometers north of Huye, the center of Rwanda’s Southern Province. She was one of a group of young women whose circumstances had prevented them from completing school and going on to further training.

Alphonsine elected to train as a tailor and now works for her living. She hopes soon to be able to buy her own machine through a loan, but even with renting a machine for RWF 3,000/month, she still turns a profit of RWF 5,000/month (USD 4.92). after expenses. She makes clothes to order for men and women, but much of her trade is in school uniforms. She attracts passing trade sitting near the street, where people can come to her and talk about what they need. Alphonsine will walk from house to house around the area to advertise her services, but a good proportion of her business comes from people she knows in her village. She acknowledges that she is still learning her trade – and that her competition in her village is more experienced – but she is learning quickly and working hard for her independence.

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