Meet Sharon, our Master Designer and owner of the shop in Rwanda that we partner with at Trove! Despite being born in Uganda, Sharon has always identified Rwanda as home. Like many other Rwandan's, Sharon's parents chose to flee to Uganda because of the genocide. Although despite their efforts to flee tragedy, Sharon’s father died in a car crash when she was just a year old. Sharon, along with her 10 siblings, was left for her mother to raise on her own. It was seeing her own mother struggle to raise her and her siblings that inspired Sharon to eventually take a career in helping vulnerable women take care of their families.
In high school, Sharon was among the brightest in her class. She loved school, loved reading and wanted badly to continue pursuing her education. Knowing there wasn’t means within her family to attend university, she was encouraged by some members of Africa New Life to apply for the Esther Scholarship located in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Esther College Scholarship program provides a college education for exceptional young women who demonstrate character, leadership and academic rigor. Women who receive this scholarship are often genocide survivors, orphans, and the most poverty stricken. Its sole purpose is to help young women reverse the cycle of poverty, by giving them an opportunity at education so they can reach their potential. In addition to attending university, the women volunteer their time to improve the local community, receive leadership training and learn basic finance management.
Sharon was one of sixteen girls accepted into the program that year! Because of her love for people, travel and the fact that tourism is the country’s largest source of foreign earnings, Sharon chose to pursue Tourism and Travel Management for her degree. After graduating she worked as a travel agent for a local company, taking tourists on various excursions and experiences throughout the country. However, there was always this underlying feeling and hope that she could work in an industry she always felt drawn to but never thought feasible – fashion!
Sharon has recently resigned from her job with the travel agency to pursue her shop full-time. Her dreams are to grow her store in orders to provide more jobs for gifted women like the woman she employs, Claudine. We want to help her with these dreams! Your orders directly impact the dreams of these women and will go directly towards funding materials and equipment for the shop, operating costs of her business and Claudine and Sharon’s salaries. They create local orders and orders of tourists passing through, but Trove is by far their biggest ordering client!