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    Fatou
    " I’ve found a new family here.  I’m glad to be able to work, and I’ve learned to make lots of things.  
    In the beginning I didn’t even know how to sit at a machine, but my team leader encouraged me, and
    showed me how to do the simple parts.  When I was learning to do the computer bag, I didn’t sleep
    for days, worried I couldn’t do it, but I succeeded!  Every time my team leader says, “See, I told you
    you could do it!”  My family is amazed and proud.     I would like to see the workshop grow.  There
    are lots of other people who need to learn these things."

    Marthe
    " The workshop has been a great support to me.  I can take care of my
    own needs, take care of my son and help my husband.  He had to have a
    cataract operation and couldn’t work for a while, but I was able to help the
    family with my work.  I have learned how to do the cutting and am learning
    to use the sewing machine.  My family is proud of me. When my father came from the village
    and I could tell him what I was doing, he was happy for me.   I have been helping with the petty
    cash accounting and that has been hard, but good.  Also I help type in the work times on the
    computer.  I am learning about setting goals and planning, so that I can have my own
    business."  

    Adjaratou
    After Adjaratou joined us, we had a party thank God for all He had done that year.  She was
    wearing a red dress, and when her turn came to speak, she said, “This is the dress I bought
    with my first salary.  Even after it wears out, I’m going to keep it to remember how proud I
    was to be able to buy it myself.”  
    “Before I thought I was a nobody.  I didn’t know how to
    read, and thought that I wasn’t smart enough to learn.  
    Things looked hopeless.  But now I know how to sew
    and read and do lots of things.  I have learned about
    business and sales.  I have responsibilities in the
    workshop for all the repairs and maintenance of the building and
    I can take care of them myself.  I’m no longer afraid to do new things
    and to face new situations.  I can hold my head up high and I’m not
    afraid to talk to people any more, and I’m even getting good at it.  
    We heard the testimonies of African businesswomen and I saw that
    it’s possible to have my own business.  So I also sell men’s shirts
    and perfume on the side.  It’s like I’ve woken up.  I’m proud of what
    I’ve done and the people in my family respect me now because I’m
    not always asking for things.  I’m called to be part of family meetings,
    and they no longer complain that I’m a Christian.  With the Lord I know
    that my life is worth something and I’m ready to stand up and fight for
    my future."
Adjaratou
Marthe
HOPESTART AFRICA
Djénéba

           Djénéba
      "Being in the workshop has allowed me to pay my children’s school fees, their
    uniforms and books, and pay their bus fare to get to school.  It was so hard before.
      Before, I never imagined I would be able to talk to people like I can now, to share
    my ideas in work meetings.  I used to just sit and listen to the others.  At Maison
    Dorcas I’ve learned to accept myself and have confidence in myself.  I have seen I
    am capable of many things.  I can go to the tax authorities or the mayor’s office
    when I need to, and I don’t feel intimidated any more.
      I never wanted to handle finances before, but now I enjoy the work I do.  I have
    had to wrack my brains to come up with ways to create the products our clients
    want, and I like the challenge."
      Djénéba is our bookkeeper, and does a great job of keeping track of money,
    receipts, and materials.  Our tax counselor is amazed at the job she has done, and
    how far we’ve come!

Fatou