Polina Judes is 34 and lives in Odala Village in rural Salima. She is married with 3 children. Polina is paralysed in one leg, due to developing an illness as a child. She didn’t use to work; the family income was solely provided by her husband who works repairing bicycles, making 20,000 Malawi Kwacha per month (£30).
Polina was one of the first female trainees in basket/chair weaving, at KODO, Salima in 2014. To do this took a leap of faith, as not only was basket/chair making new to her locality, but it is traditionally only done by men.
After completing her training and receiving a start up kit of tools, Polina now has a good business making chairs, stools and tables and display cabinets. She is making 24,000 Malawi Kwacha per month (£36), and is working hard to advertise and grow her business. She is saving money with a village loans group, and is passing on her skills both to her brother and her husband. Polina and her family now have enough money for food, and she has been able to buy a bed and a radio. Polina now has plans to grow her business to be able to open her own cane chair workshop.