By hiding in the woods near her home, Esperance, her sister and brother were the only members of their family who survived the genocide in Rwanda. For three months, she and her sister would only hunt for food at night, returning to the forest during the day.
After the genocide was over, she learned her brother had survived as well. He recounted to her how their father and many family members were killed. Esperance now lives with her brother and until she joined Rwanda Knits, had no income. She and her brother survived by subsistence farming on her father's land.
Since the knitting project officially began in June of 2005, Esperance makes 3x's the average per capita monthly income for her region. Bajalia's design and trend, along with marketing their products in the USA, has helped Esperance and women like her rise above their circumstances.