Mia’s Story

Mia with students at the Children of Kibera Foundation

Following in her brothers footsteps, then 14 year old Mia Seder was overwhelmed by the atrocities committed during the genocide in Rwanda. Mia was committed to supporting the women survivors of war by helping them to develop skills in weaving baskets and making jewelry. Crafting Africa’s Future not only empowers the local artisans by allowing them to provide for their families, but it also introduces these beautiful crafts to a broader audience, thereby increasing appreciation and helping to preserve a cultural heritage.

The summer of 2011, Mia lived with Joy Ndungutse, the co-founder of Gahaya Links. Gahaya Links is a for profit basket weaving company that provides Crafting Africa’s Future with baskets and crafts at cost. Gahaya Links trains the women to make the crafts with proceeds from Crafting Africas Future. Mia spent three summers learning from the women weavers how to make paper beads, creating new products and jewelry and interviewing the women about the positive impact of Women for Women and Gahaya Links has on their lives.  Here are some of the stories from the women working at Gahaya Links:



Clementine Mukahzamia
27 years old
Two kids, a nine year old girl and a six year old boy. Clementine started Women for Women training in October of 2010 and has already scored a job through the program Crafting Africa Future supports between Women for Women and Gahaya Links. Being employed has helped Clementine greatly, she now has a skill and can afford to send her children to school.

Solange Musengimana
40 years old
Five kids, four girls and one boy. One of Solange’s children does not attend school because he is mentally disabled. Solange’s husband does not work, he stays home and cares for their son. She has attended Women for Women and has been working at Gahaya Links for a year. Before coming to Gahaya Links , Solange was unemployed; through her training at WFW she was able to get a job at Gahaya Links. She can now afford more food and send her children to school.

MarieJose Rikuze
30 years old
Three kids, a six year old, three year old, and ten year old, only the ten year old attends school. MarieJose worked at a construction site before attending training at WFW and getting a job at Gahaya Links. Her new salary helps her pay rent, buy clothes and food, and purchase electricity.

Spesiose Mukankundiyo
45 years old
Six kids, ages 20 to 1 years old. All of Spesiose’s children live with her, and sadly she can only afford to send one of her children to school. She is a single mother and being employed at Gahaya Links has helped her pay for food for her family but she can only afford one meal a day. Before undergoing training at WFW and getting a job at Gahaya Links, Spesiose could not afford to buy food for her family.