Originals from Africa

Liv Pikul, owner of Originals from Africa

Originals from Africa thoroughly enjoys working with CAF to help provide sustainable livelihoods for artisans in Botswana, namely the basket weavers of Northern Botswana. The CAF team couldn’t be more genuine about trying to better peoples’ lives in Africa, and it shows in everything they do. Having grown up in Botswana in a rural environment, it is wonderful to work with like minded people who want to provide artisans with a dignified steady source of income. CAF is making its mark in the hearts of many African people that need their help.

The basket making communities that CAF supports are in remote areas of Northern Botswana where unemployment is high and job availability is scarce. The ladies support their immediate families with income gained from making these museum quality baskets, and also support other village members that need help. Botswana baskets are the country’s most famous art form and have been made for thousands of years. They are sold with pride and are truly recognized as museum quality art forms. They have been displayed at the Smithsonian and other renowned galleries and have caught many an eye. They take our ladies anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to complete.



Gahaya Links

Joy Ndungutse, Founder and C.E.O

After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda was faced with a gender imbalance, with many women left as widows, single mothers, wives with husbands facing long jail terms, and teenage orphaned girls. Thus, our artisans are are less privileged rural Rwandans, majority women whose relatives and husbands were either killed during the genocide, fled the country or are in prison charged with genocide related cases.

Gahaya Links was founded to train rural women 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.

Gahaya Links became the first Rwandan handcraft export company to benefit from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by exporting to the United States. Gahaya Links is now the leading of Rwanda’s one-of-a- kind baskets commonly known as “Peace Baskets”. Gahaya Links wavers are take responsibilty for callling them the peace baskest, for they put their differences aside in order to work together and build their communities and a country once so devastated.