2010 Beneficiary

Women for Women Int’l (WFW), Partners in Health (PIH) & Gahaya Links

Products made by graduates on display at WfWI-Rwanda headquarters in Kigali.

Crafting Africa’s Future has selected Women for Women Int’l (WFW)Gahaya Links and Partners in Health (PIH) in Rwanda as its 2010 beneficiaries. Partners in Health will support HIV positive children living in a remote village in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda. Fifteen years ago, the world stood by and watched as over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically murdered and over 500,000 women were methodically raped and tortured. WFW Int’l supports victims of these assaults, many of whom have become HIV infected, are facing life without family members and are raising children who were born as a result of a brutal crime. WFW provides tools and resources to move women from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. In Rwanda, WFW will send 40 women to be trained in basket and tray weaving. Once trained these women will have the means to feed their children and build a sustainable income or business through the sale of their craft.

Gahaya Links was founded to train rural women in the art of basket weaving and tailoring after the devastating 1994 Rwanda Genocide that left over 1 million dead. In 1990′s sisters Joy Ndunguste and Janet Nkubana offered the women a small shop to sell their baskets and earn an income to meet their basic necessities.  The sisters later offered to meet the women in their villages and learn how they could use an old Rwanda traditional skill to better their lifestyles. From a humble beginning under a tree in a remote village called Gitarama,  the sisters organized about twenty women and taught them how to weave, how to enhance their weaving skills with new design techniques and how to work together by looking beyond their ethnic differences. Today Gahaya Links is a growing network of over 4,000 weavers across the country organized in 52 savings cooperatives.

PIH is located in a rural subsistence village of Rwinkwavu two hours from Kigali. The local clinic in Rwinkwavu treats the poorest of the poor, many of whom are infected with disease. A main problem for the villagers is a lack of medicine. The donations CAF receives this year will assist HIV children and their families, many of whom are victims of the genocide. Every dollar CAF raises will be making a difference in the lives of these families. We are proud to support WFW, Gahaya Links & PIH, and hope to provide a better future for impoverished women and children in Rwanda.