Monday, January 18, 2010

awoto margret, tailor

Awoto Margret, left, with son John, and husband, in front of their newly built home

Each workday 44-year-old Awoto Margret pedals her One Mango Tree bicycle about six miles along a busy, dusty road to reach the OMT workshop. Even with the long ride, she arrives about half an hour before the 8 a.m. start time, ready to work. When she is not stitching aprons or weekender bags, she is carrying out her new task of tagging, checking quality, and packing products. Her strong work ethic sets a good example for younger tailors.

Each day during her ride Awoto Margret passes the now-almost-closed Unyama IDP camp where she and her family lived, along with some 20,000 other internally displaced persons from 1995 to 2008. Awoto Margret and John, her husband of 20 years, are happy and grateful to live in a new traditional hut they built in a peaceful clearing, well away from the road. Their pride and sense of family is seen in the home’s tidiness and the family photographs on display. Their youngest child is age nine. They usually have four children at home while another four are in school, in town. No doubt, One Mango Tree’s help with school fees has eased the family budget.

Awoto Margret , also called Owot Opio Margret, says the best thing about One Mango Tree, for her, has been “learning something new.” We hear that she’s an expert at telling stories with a moral; maybe one day she’ll be telling a story about how the became a part of One Mango Tree.

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