Tag Archives: supporting women

African Crafts for you!

“Death is all around me.

So is life. You must choose.”       -“The Last Sin Eater”

How true this is.  We can choose to be overcome by the onslaught of wars, economic failures, and power hungry/ greedy men abusing their positions.

Or, we can look for the beauty and the good. Being female, I have a tendency to look for the lovely.  Here, I will help you all see the good as well.

Check this out. My friend Deborah Knight is currently living in Denver, but returning to Kigali in a couple of months.  I met her there while she was a volunteer for a women’s cooperative. She writes:

Tubahumurize is a women’s organization that provides counseling and job training for women victims of the genocide.  I am the USA representative for the products that our women make to support themselves and their families.

I’ve been to this cooperative several times, and the woman who runs it is an amazing lady. Jean lost her husband and one child in the genocide, but was reunited with a daughter and a son when a neighbor found the girl wandering the streets yelling mother. (Kinda reminds me of a scene in Bambi, but I digress).  Jean re-married but struggled for a while with employment. She and her first husband were high paid lawyers, but known to have connections with many people, some that post-genocide survivors did not want to associate with.  So Jean mostly raised her children. Until 2000 when her best friend was killed by an abusive husband. Sadly, Jean’s friend had told her numerous times how scared she was, but being a good Rwandan woman, Jean kept telling the friend to go back to the man. Jean never forgave herself for not doing more, but the experience certainly changed her heart. She now operates a school for battered women to learn sewing skills. She is also in the process of creating an entire housing project where women and their children can live while looking for alternatives.

Many women have no place to go if they are experiencing domestic violence, are living with no income at all, are sick without any support.  A shelter for long term care to include bringing their children does not exist in Rwanda. We have purchased the land for the building of the project and soon will be working on the logistics, building plans and fundraising.

Anyway, these women create bags, quilts, aprons, kitchen accessories and jewelry. Many of these styles and products are being sold by high-end designers in New York, where it is hip to buy African made products. Debbie is offering you a chance to buy it direct from the women!

I am planning to make a order by the middle of November and if you are interested in buying any of the products now is the time to let me know and I will happily make the order.  They make wonderful Christmas gifts and all the proceeds go to supporting the project and the women. Your help will be so appreciated.

So, check out the website, comment on what item interests you, and I will place the order with Deb.

www.rwandanwomencan.org

Happy shopping!

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