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Needles and Threads: The Enchanting Story of Hajara Yusuf


Hajara Yusuf lost her husband on 29th October, 2011. Before his untimely death, he worked with the State Ministry of Health, Bauchi as an office clerk. His death left Hajara with the responsibility of caring for thirteen (13) dependents from the little proceeds flowing from her farmland. Hajara remained resolute in her determination to survive the situation and fend for her children. She woke up each morning with the confidence that somehow, her life was going to get better. This confidence kept her going each day as she tilled the ground and watched for the heavenly showers to water her seedling.

One bright morning, a beam of light s4hone through the dark tunnels of her daily struggles. She was visited by a staff of FACEPAM, a community based organization (CBO) engaged in Bauchi State under the auspices of “Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS) Project” with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). FACEPAM provides support under SIDHAS project to “Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)” and their care givers in the state. This august visit changed Hajara’s life.

Hajara was selected by FACEPAM as one of the beneficiaries of a 5-day entrepreneurship and vocational skills training organized by the USAID funded SIDHAS project in May 2014. The training armed Hajara and other beneficiaries with skills for making bags, shoes, hair cream and soap. Hajara was highly motivated by the skills acquisition training and this marked a turning point in her life.

No longer satisfied with being a peasant farmer, she envisioned herself as an entrepreneur making and distributing custom made bags within Bauchi State and beyond. With this renewed zest for life and success, Hajara immersed herself in learning more about designing and making of bags using locally available materials and fabrics. She did not stop at that; she also delved into designing and making exquisite bedspreads, pillow covers, and duvets. To actualize this dream, Hajara rented a sewing machine at the cost of N100 per day and with each passing day, got better at her new trade. Soon, Hajara’s finished products began to draw attention from far and wide and patronage for her products soared above her expectation as everyone who saw her products marveled at the finesse.


Sewing machine provided by the USAID funded SIDHAS project

The window of opportunity Hajara longed for had finally come through the skills acquisition training given her by the USAID funded SIDHAS project. Through funding support from USAID, the SIDHAS project team in the state provided her with a new sewing machine. Her joy knew no bounds. She no longer had to rent a sewing machine as she was now a proud owner of a brand new sewing machine. The opportunities before her were boundless and potentials for expanding her business limitless. Hajara had this to say “I am very thankful for this training that has changed my life; I promise to work very hard to grow bigger so I can help others in my community.” Her life has been completely turned around and she now sees a brighter future for herself and her 13 dependents.


2 responses to “Needles and Threads: The Enchanting Story of Hajara Yusuf”

  1. Nkemjka says:

    Beautiful! very touching!!. Very heart warming!!! glad to be a part of the organization (by extension) that is touching lives in such a unique way.

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