Staff Spotlight: Stella
Today’s spotlight is on Stella.
Stella is part of our sewing group. She is one of our best seamstresses, making clothes and Penda bags with tremendous expertise and precision.
Before Stella came to us, she struggled to find casual labor jobs to provide food for her family. Like many of the women who participate in our programs, Stella has faced challenges in her life, but she has not let that ruin her chances in life. She’s taken her destiny into her own hands and has used every resource available to change her life and the lives of her children. The first step in those changes was her participation in the sewing group, but it’s grown from there. Her four children now attend Heritage Academy, two of them living in the dormitory. She said she never imagined her children could be in school, much less living in a dormitory. She could have never provided for her children without the support of Village Project Africa and sponsors.
Stella has dreams of doing even more and providing even more opportunities for her children. When there is an opportunity to sew, Stella works from morning until afternoon, but that’s not where her workday ends. At the end of her sewing day, she heads home and begins making mandazi, a slightly sweet, donut-type treat. A few years ago, neighbors began asking her for some of her mandazi, and Stella saw an opportunity. She’s built a small side business making and selling her mandazi, bringing in a small profit to help provide further for herself and her children. She typically bakes four or five hours in the evening and sells her mandazis as they are ready. She invests the money she earns into providing a better life and a more promising future for her family.
Stella says she hopes that her children will grow to be happy and educated. She hopes that after they complete high school and even university, her kids will be living independently and happily anywhere they choose in the world. Her hopes are as high as her love is deep for her children.