may-030.jpgSolange has overcome incredible odds to get where she is today.  While she was growing up she not only became disabled due to polio, she also faced the loss of both her parents, and her eyes still fill with tears at the thought.  She found herself living in the midst of her a war-zone and because of her disability she was unable to flee, and often had to find places to hide herself when the fighting grew to close to her home. 


Eventually she was taken to the Center for People with Disabilities for treatment, and she spent her teenage years there, undergoing an operation to straighten her legs and learning to walk with the help of heavy metal leg braces and crutches. In June 2009 Solange graduated from the Sewing Program at the Center and was required to move out of the Center. The rural home she grew up in has been destroyed by the war, and her remaining family (2 younger siblings) were living in a refugee camp, leaving Solange with few options to return to.


SHONA offered Solange the opportunity to provide for herself through the work of her own hands and to begin building a life.  Solange has thrown herself whole-heartedly into her work, and has achieved so many things that she had never imagined possible.  She built a small workshop, got married and gave birth to a little girl, named Promise.


Solange is a boisterous young woman, full of plans for the future.  Because of the ongoing war in Congo, she and her family are currently in a refugee camp in Burundi, but still she sews with hope and promise for the future.