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Sophie’s fingers move through fabric like the wings of a hummingbird. Quick and precise. Joyful and colorful. She can make anything and has made everything she has on her own.
Sophie was the 8th of 9 children. After finishing the 7th grade, Sophie soon realized she was better at learning with her hands than in a formal classroom. Her brother owned a shop and encouraged her to go and sell things there. When she began working at the shop, she met a tailor who agreed to train her. The tailor was pregnant and needed someone to help her finish the clothes she had been contracted to make. After just three months, the tailor left on maternity leave and Sophie’s skills had blossomed. She rented the tailors machine and took clients on by herself. With the money that was left after paying for the machine rental, Sophie bought a calf.
Sophie raised the calf and upon maturity, she sold it and used the money to buy her very own sewing machine. Following her heart’s desire she went on to rent a small portion of a corridor and continued making commissioned clothing for people, not a small feat for a village girl with a 7th grade education. Her entrepreneur spirit saw that people in the corridor were hungry with limited options for a good cooked meal, so she began to sell food that she prepared at home for extra savings. Slowly, she earned enough money to buy a second machine.
Feeding and clothing people made Sophie realize that her heart sang when she was in service to others. One day, a woman came and asked Sophie if she could teach her daughter to sew, she was delighted to oblige. Weeks later more mothers arrived at the corridor with the same request. Sophie knew she could not run a proper school in a corridor and took a leap of faith and rented a shop of her own. She has never looked back. Sophie can make anything you ask for and her work and the work of her students have been shared with thousands of Save the Rain supporters.
Sophie’s smile lights up the room and her hands and her heart are in every product she makes.
You can find Sophie and her Team of female apprentices work in our store under Kitenge Bags and Yoga Mat Carriers. It is because of supporters like you we are able to create relationships with villagers like Sophie, empowering women across the globe to pursue their dreams and share their gifts.