INTERVIEW: Atubiga Laadi
I’m 21 years of age. I went to senior high school but could not complete it as both my parents died.
I’m married and I have a young son but I support about 15 extended family altogether.
[ED: There are 20 children living in Laadi’s compound, some of them orphaned or with parents working in Kumasi so they’re cared for by the families living in the compound.]
Until the baskets, I used to hawk food items around the village. I used to make maybe 1 Cedi a day or less (US 0.75 cents). I got initial capital from my husband to start that business.
I’ve been weaving baskets for about 2 years now.
The G-lish project has a lot of impacts on me. I can buy ingredients from it for cooking. I can also buy my clothes and that of my child. I can also use the money from it to grind millet for our TZ meals.
The most important thing to me is to weave and earn money to keep my family.
We really need a community clinic because the only one clinic we have is about 12 kms away from us here and most of us don’t have transport—we have to walk or hire a taxi.
The trees I would most like are Moringa and Mango for fruits and herbal medicine.
The thing I would like to say to customers is thank you for your patronage. Also please to value our baskets because they are difficult to weave, but we will keep weaving them as much as we can.
[Moringa is well known in West Africa as a cure-all. The vitamin C in its leaves is more powerful than oranges, and it is also a source of iron and protein, both important for those suffering from malaria, for which moringa is mainly used.]
[ED: During the Dulugu Youth Association Annual Day recently, the children from Laadi’s compound ran around collecting the pure water plastic rubbish in bags and brought them back home to the compound for the plastic cutters, of which Laadi’s husband is one, to cut and prepare for weaving. They were so proud and also the first kids in this area we know of to voluntarily collect plastic rubbish! Our work is rubbing off as the children gather round every time we visit, observing, helping. Some collect the pay for their parents too. Laadi and her husband dub their four year old son the "financial manager." He collects the money when she’s paid and passes it on to Mum or Dad…next generation entrepreneurs and environmentalists in the making.]