Mary Shamwete is 50 years old, has been married for twenty eight years, has four children, three grand children and is raising two orphaned nephews with her husband. She completed grade seven but didn’t have money for progression to grade eight. Her daughters completed school through grade nine and her sons completed high school. She attends Bible classes as well as the Catholic Church in Kamanga twice a week and longs to know more about God’s word so she can teach others. She serves on the church’s liturgical committee member and is treasurer of the womens’ group.
Mary first heard of RecycloCraftz in 2009 when she became a member of the development committee. She brought ten friends to that committee with her. One of her friends made doormats and was invited to learn how to crochet bags. She and her friends decided to join together. These artisans are Jennifer Njbovu, Mary Mwanga, Linda Miti, Claudia Chifundo, Beatrice Banda and Jane Chikatula. Her favorite things to make are magazine bowls and fluffy bags.
Before RecycloCraftz she sold her hand made door mats, platted hair and crushed stone. Stone crushing is an extremely hazardous job that requires the crusher to pound large pieces of stone into gravel. She runs a katemba selling beans, charcoal, fritters, cooking oil, sugar, and snacks. She dreams of buying goats for her farm in Chasamba. On the farm which is a three hour round trip; she grows maize, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cassava, and beans. She wants to keep living in Lusaka and visiting her farm on weekends and during harvest.
RecycloCraftz has helped her to learn new crafts, sew on a sewing machine and buy cement. With sponsorship she would be able to buy household materials, school supplies and clothes for the orphaned nephews that she is raising. Her goals are to complete grade twelve, bring water into her house, build a wall fence, improve her farming business and travel to fish.