Artisan Insights - Hajirah's Story

Artisan Hajirah shows several of her woven baskets

Hajirah's story is one of a series from artisans for KAZI, built on a mission to create fair-wage employment. About 98 percent of KAZI artisans are women, who have the flexibility to work from their rural homes and support an average 5.7 dependents. Stories are in their own words. See more stories.

"My name is Hajirah. I live in Uganda. I have six siblings. I studied up to Senior Four (the equivalent of early high school in the U.S.) and dropped out since my parents could not afford my school fees anymore. From childhood, I would always help out my dad at his fish shop and that is what I did after dropping out of school. Currently, I am married with four children, my oldest is eight years and youngest is 22 months old.

I had always admired art and craft and when I got a chance to learn from a lady who was working for KAZI, I used it. She trained me for three weeks and that is how I learned. I also wanted to make my own money.

I have got a lot of benefits from weaving, for example, paying school fees for my children, and taking care of my home needs. I am also paying school fees for a cousin of mine back in the village. These are things I couldn’t afford to do before. I like the financial freedom that I have now.

Me and my husband have been able to take our children to better schools because I now support him in paying school fees. Before, he could only afford to take them to substandard schools.

My plan is to save enough money to be able to take my child for an operation for a urethral injury.  I had saved 500,000 Ugandan shillings, but due to Covid 19 and the lockdown, my husband lost his job and I had to fully take care of my family so I diverted that money. I am now starting to save afresh. 

I am proudest of the fact that I do not beg for money like before, I earn my own money now."

Artisan Hajirah shows several of her woven baskets