A FRIEND INDEED

by Marlene Mutimawase

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“A friend is someone who walks alongside you every step of the way, and with whom you share everything.” These words are common to many of us and describe the friendship between Maisara and Bienvenue who have been close friends for four years. Let’s find out more about how they became friends.

“We’ve been friends since we met in year 1 at school and shared a desk,” says Bienvenue. They still go to the same school and are now in year 4. Maisara says that’s one reason their friendship is so supportive; they share experiences and have stayed together through thick and thin.

Bienvenue and Maisara’s friendship evolved beyond school when they realised they had other things in common. “When I went to her home for the first time, I saw beautiful decorations in their living room, and she gave me one,” says Maisara.

That day, she asked Bienvenue to teach her how to make the decorations, and they started learning from each other. Bienvenue taught Maisara how to weave baskets and other decorations, while Maisara taught Bienvenue how to knit woollen sweaters and clothes.

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Their friendship grew and they began to see the benefits - including good grades at school. Bienvenue’s grades went from 55% to above 70% because, after selling what she had made, she had the money to buy school supplies. Before, a lack of school materials was affecting her studies. Maisara also improved her grades from 60% to 70%.

Maisara explained to us that she would sometimes be late or miss school because of last-minute orders for baby clothes, which meant she went to bed late. Bienvenue added: “But since I learnt knitting, we share tasks. She knits sweaters, I knit trousers. It’s quicker that way.” Today, Maisara is no longer late to school, and she doesn’t arrive tired anymore.

“Now we can buy notebooks or other school supplies ourselves, and we have more time to study because we knit and weave faster,” said Bienvenue, advising others to always try to make the most of their friendships. They both told us that friendship is key, and always better when friends share skills.

Bienvenue and Maisara want you to know that friendship should be based on positive elements to keep it healthy and long-lasting. They also told us that you don’t need to have wealth to support each other. Rather, it means looking for something you have in common and making the most of it.

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