Peruth Nyiranzikirizwanimana mother of 4, vividly remembers how hurt is juggling between domestic works and striving for a dignity that a woman should have within the community.
The 31-year-old mother from Muko Sector, Musanze District is now one among 30 members of ‘Twite ku Bana Bacu’ cooperative loosely translated as “Let’s Take Care of our Kids” a women cooperative which deals with farming and saving activities.
Before joining the cooperative, Nyiranzikirizwanimana didn’t hold the cheerful look she has lately.
She also had no source of income as she only dealt with different domestic chores and solely depended on her husband for the family needs.
“I had to wake up at 4am to clean the house, prepare kids for school by bathing and dressing them up and then I proceed with cooking the meal for lunch,” She narrates
“I couldn’t expect any amount of money from my domestic works though I used to spend a lot of body energy, I could always feel tired but none recognised my work,” she added
Facing daily abuses
She said she couldn’t cater for herself and for her children and relied on her husband who abused her with telling her bad words and then whenever she requested for anything she needed.
Peruth Nyiranzikirizwanimana(in white T-Shirt) with fellow women in ‘Twite ku bana bacu’ cooperative counting their weekly contributions. (Photo by Regis Umurengezi)
“My husband used to tell me that I am useless whenever I dared to ask him money to buy clothes or any other item I needed for me and for my children,” Nyiranzikirizwanimana said
“He could not value the pain I felt from domestic works, whenever he came back home from his daily job he kept insisting that I am like a statue due to the fact that I couldn’t earn anything in our home in terms of money,” She added
Staring a new chapter
Through various initiatives by the Government and other partners aiming at empowering women, early in 2015, Nyiranzikirizwanimana decided to start looking for what she could do to earn living and shun dependence on her husband.
“My husband had participated in several programmes including Akagoroba k’Ababyeyi (Evening Parents Forum) and ActionAid mobilisation on women empowering, one day he came in with different thoughts and ordered me to join fellow women in the cooperative, “ She said
In Twite ku Bana Bacu cooperative every member contributes at least Rwf 250 on a weekly basis and the money gathered is kept or lent to whoever wants it in the cooperative.
Nyiranzikirizwanimana applied for a loan which she invested in selling fruits and vegetables in her residence area.
She said that since then, she manages to get at least Rwf 2,000 as a daily interest.
Back at the end of 2015 when the cooperative activities were being phased out, Nyiranzikirizwanimana received Rwf 100,000 from her savings and started to contribute to her family’s development.
“I am now that kind of woman who touches on the house’s wall to switch on the light as I used my saving to install the electricity in our house, “she said with a smiling face
Emmanuel Sibomana, Nyiranzikirizwanimana’s husband said that through trainings he has already understood the value of a woman in a country’s development and he thus committed himself to stand for his wife.
“It took me long time to change my mindset but it finally worked out thanks to trainings by ActionAid and local officials. I together with my wife complete each other. I prepare food as well as cleaning the house at home without necessary waiting for the wife to do so,” He testified.
By Regis Umurengezi
The Express News