I was born a healthy child, however my family was very poor. At the age of 2, my sister and I were sent to live with our grandmother, so that my parents could work, but sadly, when I was 5 years old my mother died. I was grateful to be able to attend school and completed 7th grade (15 years old). On leaving school I got a job working as a house lady, helping with cooking, cleaning and washing.
I continued this job for several years, got married and had two children. My husband and I used our savings to build a small house on our shamba (land/field) and we moved to live there. However one night, our stove caught fire. We had a straw roof, which burnt easily, and the walls began to collapse. My husband managed to escape with one of my children and he pulled me out, however my legs were already extremely badly burnt. Our youngest son was trapped under the rubble and did not survive.
I went to hospital, but there was nothing they could do to save my legs and so they had to be amputated. This was a very hard time for me and I thought I might go crazy. I spent a total of 6 months in hospital. However it was during this time that I had the opportunity to visit Neema Crafts. It was so encouraging for me to see other disabled people working with a purpose and it took my mind off my troubles. I couldn’t believe it when I had the opportunity to attend the tailoring course at Neema, and was offered a job.
Now I have been working here for 5 years and I am so happy. The job has helped me to grow in confidence and I love the work and my friends here. I can also support my 3 children and the oldest is now attending school. I really think that without this job I would probably be dead; my family are so poor and they would not have been able to support me. So I thank God for Neema and the opportunity to work here.
Aurelia sews our cushions.