Before forming their weaving group in 2004, the women of the Abihuje Association were in a difficult situation typical of subsistence farming families in Rwanda. They were overburdened by poverty, unable to provide for their families, dependent on their husbands, isolated by their work load, and left feeling that there was nothing that they alone could do to resolve the problem.
But the founders of Abihuje began with the hope that if they joined their strength and knowledge together, they could work towards a solution. As they began to work together, the group not only grew in skill, but in friendship and mutual support. They opened a savings account to set aside a small amount per month that can then be lent to needy group members. Although the weavers have not had as much business as they had hoped this year, they have still been able to put their income towards buying health insurance and clothing, paying school fees, and investing in farm animals. Slowly, they are progressing together towards their goal of overcoming poverty.