Nakayiza Immaculate has woven baskets of all kinds for her entire life. When she was young, she was mainly a farmer, cultivating crops for her family to eat. She would also make and sell mats and baskets in her community but the limited market meant this production was on a very small scale.
About 20 years ago she began to sell baskets internationally with Serrv partner NAWOU, a women’s development organization in Uganda. Through her work with NAWOU Nakayiza acquired expertise in the weaving business. "In the beginning, when an order came, I would come along with a basket or one drawn on paper and would weave while looking at it. But today, they just explain the type that is wanted and I am able to understand”, she says.
When Nakayiza reflects on her situation before she started weaving baskets for international markets like Serrv, she considers herself so lucky to have been able to improve her livelihood and that of her household. Besides being able to educate her children, she no longer has to rely on her husband for money, she has bought land, and she has played a key role in renovating her family's house which is now cemented, plastered and roofed with iron sheets.
Her success made Nakayiza well-known in her community and she is now chairperson of the Twekembe Women’s Group, helping other women find ways to raise their household income levels.