Brigitte may be among Same Sky’s youngest employees, but she has great talent in crafting handmade jewelry. We have been overjoyed to watch Brigitte’s life transform since she began as a Same Sky Artisan in 2008.
In 1996, Brigitte had just found out that she was diagnosed HIV+ and was experiencing debilitating migraines from an intense head injury she received during the Rwandan Genocide. When we met Brigitte, she was living as an orphan. She had no family and no siblings. She had survived rape, borne children from it, and had difficulty nurturing them in the way they needed— she had no means to provide for them, and struggled daily with finding her purpose as she reconciled the horrors of the genocide.
Same Sky began employing Brigitte in 2008, and she has since told us that she feels employment gives her reason to live. She can provide for her children, has a new life and family, and her health has drastically improved. Brigitte now has health insurance, is able to visit the doctor regularly, and no longer gets headaches. She recently moved out of public housing, bought her own house, and can afford electricity, a true accomplishment. She is proud— strengthened by her independence and ability to care for her family.
Brigitte has recently updated us that her home now has water and windows, and her two children have been able to attend secondary school because she can afford to buy them school uniforms and supplies.