Discovering My Worth

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July 12, 2018

By Annonciatha Mujawayezu

Edited by Alexandra Ubalijoro

As a young girl, I was married to a man who already had another spouse. Because I was the second wife, I was disliked by my in-laws. I had no one to talk to or ask for advice and I became very lonely. One day, I gathered my strength and made a difficult decision. I decided to leave my husband and take our three children with me. Although I felt relieved, as a single mother I was constantly worrying about how I would feed my children.

Everything changed in October 2017 when I attended Resonate’s workshop. It transformed my life and allowed me to solve my problems.

The session of the workshop that inspired me the most was the Tree of Life exercise, where we mapped out our past and present. We used the roots to symbolize our past, the trunk as our present, the fruits as our achievements, and the hummingbirds as our future goals. I had never thought of myself in this way before. Before the workshop, I didn’t even realize that I had anything to be proud of. As the session progressed, I became aware of my accomplishments and I came to value them. It had taken courage to leave my husband and that was a huge achievement. I realized that my difficult past didn’t have to hold me back from securing a bright future. I came to know my self-worth and that I could secure future opportunities.

I also realized that I had been underestimating myself. As a woman, I had been afraid of venturing into the world of business and finance. After Resonate’s training, I set a goal to be a successful example for my children. I understood that my gender did not have to interfere with my ability to do business. I made a conscious decision to renounce everything that could hold me back as a woman and to stop thinking that women cannot do certain things. So, I found the courage and confidence to apply for a loan from the bank. Although I started with very little money, I joined a savings group and started doing business with them. Today my children are in university, I own a small supermarket, and I am about to open a second one.

Resonate has truly changed my life. Before their training I couldn’t share my story. I thought that if I did, people would judge me. Instead, I found that sharing my story has been relieving for me and inspiring for others. Now, I use my story to help women that are facing the same issues. I tell them that no matter their past they can always achieve something. I talk to them about my progress – who I was before and where I am today. I tell them that they can achieve even more than I have. I strive to encourage and empower them through my words. Resonate’s training showed me that I can work hard to solve my own problems, as well as help others with theirs. Today, I think of myself and my community in ways I never would've thought possible.

Megan Madeira