The young Burundian girls and women from “Centre Nyubahiriza” (meaning “Respect us” in Kirundi) located in Kinama, a poor district in Bujumbura (the capital city of Burundi), had the opportunity to make Cam Pillows. These are actually small cushions used for putting your cameras to protect them from scratches and other harm. Through their talent of sewing, the young girls and women from the center can draw attention on their past, present and future thanks to this new project, inspired by the local NGO Fondation Stamm (that set up the “Nyubahiriza” center) and the German company Cosyspeed.
Cam Pillows, an added value for “Nyubahiriza”.
The start of the Cam Pillows project has been valuable to the young girls and women from “Centre Nyubahiriza”. The partnership between the center located in Kinama district and the German company Cosyspeed has given an important value to the work made by the residents from “Nyubahiriza” who sewed the small cushions. From beneficiary people, all the young girls and women from the center have turned into productive forces. This Cam Pillows project has helped the “Nyubahiriza” residents to forget their painful life. This venture has also achieved to help them to pull themselves together and move on with dignity and self-esteem. “Tububahirize ! Let´s respect them” for that.
Through the portraits, find out more about the people who sewed the Cam Pillows. Even though all these young girls and women have gone through difficult times, forcing them to seek refuge in “Nyubahiriza”; they all say that they are born again and can start from the top in dignity, thanks to the help and assistance they have received from the center and the Fondation Stamm. This inspires these young girls and women from “Nyubahiriza” to pull themselves together, be more confident and able to plan their future and the one for their children.
Libérate Ngabirano, 19, arrived at the center for young single mums in May 2013, while she was pregnant. As it is the case for many people, the young woman from Ngozi province came to Bujumbura with the hope of finding a job. She had considered the idea of leaving her hometown for the capital city in order to help her mother who became head of the family when Libérate’s father died. She finally got a job as a nanny. But when she was raped and got pregnant from her rapist, her boss fired her. In her misfortune, the young mother-to-be was assisted by the sister of her former boss who helped Libérate to seek and find refuge and protection in “Nyubahiriza” center in Kinama. After her arrival at the center, the young woman gave birth to her baby boy. She is actually attending a sewing training and her dream is to become a shopkeeper. And as Libérate says: “Through it, I would be able to give better opportunities and a brighter future to my son”.
Nadine, 21 years old, came at the center in January 2013 with her little boy. This young mother from Kirundo province is not only an orphan but lost also all her siblings. Before her arrival at “Nyubahiriza”, Nadine and her child lived on the streets of Bujumbura. As the Fondation Stamm continues to help her, the young mother says: “Life is much steadier for me and my boy. Living at the center gives us the opportunity to be accommodated, it gives us food as well as an access to medical care.” This new stability was especially possible through the sewing training that Nadine started and still follows at the center. Despite that this mother was removed from school at a very young age, the training she has taken allows her to dream of a better life for herself and her child.
Joselyne has found refuge at the mother and child shelter “Centre Nyubahiriza” after having been raped. This orphan from the countryside came in Bujumbura with the hope of finding a job and a better life. She was however sexually assaulted on her workplace and got pregnant. The support and protection that Joselyne has got thanks to the Fondation Stamm enables her to move forward with her life. Furthermore, the young mother from Kayanza province states that she sees now the other single mums from “Nyubahiriza” and the people in charge of the center as her new family. Besides of that, the sewing training she has been taking allows her to give again meaning to her life. Despite all the bad things she went through, Joselyne says that she is able to smile again and that she now wishes a better life for herself and her kid. Her desire would be to work as a tailor.
Annick, 21 years old, has got no easy life. After her mother´s death, her father married again to a woman who brutalized Annick and her brothers. When the young girl was raped and got pregnant because of this, she was thrown out of home. That is a fact: many victims of sexual violence like Annick are neither supported or helped; and will be even kicked out by their own families. Annick stated she has found refuge and protection at the “Centre Nyubahiriza” through a single mum reintegrated thanks to one of the many social projects from the Fondation Stamm. When the young mum arrived at the center in July 2013, it enables her to give protection to her child by providing her food and a place to live; on the other hand, Annick can now achieve a better professional and social life; in particular through the sewing training she takes. And as her life goes better and better, the young mother from Bujumbura Rural aspires to be a tailor, a farmer and a cattle breeder at the same time.
Aline came at the Fondation Stamm center in November 2012 after that her longstanding boy-friend who had promised to marry her refused to acknowledge paternity of their unborn twins. After giving birth to her babies, the 22-year old mother had gone through hardships: at that time, she had no father for her children, neither financial support for herself and her twins, nor someone to help the three of them. Finding refuge at “Nyubahiriza” was providential for this orphan from Karuzi province. Before coming at the center, Aline was desperate because she could not take good care of her baby girl and boy. But now, the young woman states that the Fondation Stamm gives her a second chance. What would be her dream? She would like to work as a shopkeeper.
Claudine was forced to have sex when she was still in primary school. As it is the case for many rape victims, she was unable to identify the rapist. Before she arrived at “Centre Nyubahiriza”, the young mother from Gitega province stated that she had no more faith in her future and that her life was ruined. But thanks to the support and assistance that she and her little girl still get, Claudine has overcome her hardships and can now state that their “life goes on and will do more easily”. The 20-year old mother who dreams of becoming a tailor puts nowadays all her efforts in the training she takes at the center. As she says, she starts to master step by step the techniques required for measuring and designing clothes.
Alice, 20 years old, is one of those young women who left their hometown hoping they will get a better life in Bujumbura. Her arrival in the capital city was caused by her misfortune with a man. The latter took actually advantage of her poverty to make useless promises. When the young woman from Mwaro province got pregnant and told the unborn child´s father, the latter ran away and Alice was abandoned by her family who thrown her out of home. Having faced all these hardships, the young mother decided to come to the capital city and give it a try. But her new urban life was only made of misery and poverty. To put an end to it, Alice turned towards the “Centre Nyubahiriza”. Her arrival at the center allows her not to sleep in the stands anymore and to give a better life to her girl. The young woman states also that the trainings she takes at the center enables her to have faith in life again and make one of her dreams come true: to become a shopkeeper.
Bélyse is another girl who got pregnant and whose baby´s father did not acknowledge his paternity. Besides, the young mother from Bujumbura was kicked out from home by her own mother and her stepfather. Before arriving in January 2011 at the center dedicated to young single mums, Bélyse had been living on the streets with her child. Living in “Nyubahiriza” enables her to go back to school and to feel again as part of a family among the other young girls and women from the home. The 22-year old mother strongly appreciates the devotion of those who work and are in charge of “Nyubahiriza”; as well as the advice they give. As she had the opportunity to go back to school, Bélyse can believe in another miracle: to be a doctor.
Claudine has been accommodated with her little boy at the “Centre Nyubahiriza” after her husband threw her out of their house. The support this 20-year old mother has received from the “Centre Nyubahiriza” allows her to keep moving in her life. Furthermore, Claudine follows reading and writing lessons. These are actually prerequisites to the sewing training that the young woman wants to follow at “Nyubahiriza”. She also admits that her life at the center and the assistance she gets there help her to pull herself together and move on. Moreover, Claudine says that she is now the only one responsible for her future. Claudine dreams of being a tailor and a shopkeeper at the same time.
Cynthia, 20 years old, has been accommodated at the center since May 2013 after having been sexually assaulted and got pregnant. The young mother who lost her own parents did various odd jobs for surviving and being able to feed her little boy. Cynthia says that her arrival and her life at “Nyubahiriza” have allowed her to reorganize her life. Since she has been supported by the Fondation Stamm, the young woman from Ngozi province states that she is enjoying her life and gets now all she and her boy need the most: a place to live, where they can get food and have access to medical care. This is also through the center that Cynthia can take trainings that will let her be self-sufficient. The young mother desires to become a shopkeeper.
Sewing the Cam Pillows could not be possible without Apollinaire, the “designer in chief” and trainer at “Nyubahiriza”; as well as Spès, Ashura, Sévérin and Joselyne who all work at the center as embroiders and sewing trainers. Besides, the five employees state that the Fondation Stamm helps them to get a better life mainly thanks to their steady job; they are helped as much as the young girls and women from “Nyubahiriza” who are supported by the organization through its center.