Handmade Bracelets Empower Rwandan Women

In Rwanda, two incredible groups of women are overcoming poverty and building successful lives. And they’re using their own hands to do so—creating handmade bracelets for the U.S. market.

“I Feel Happier … More Confident … Hopeful”

“Partnering with Indego Africa [Jesus' Economy's partner in Rwanda] has allowed me ... to pay for school fees for my children,” says Annunciate. “By taking me from the loneliness in which I was living and allowing me to be in an environment where I can interact with others, I feel happier and more confident and hopeful.”

Annunciate is a member of the Abasangiye Cooperative. Together, her cooperative and the Cocoki Cooperative create handmade, fair trade bracelets. Although each member of Abasangiye is the mother to a child born of rape, each woman now has hope. (One of the Abasangiye Cooperative members is pictured here.)

“A Business that Makes Us Proud”

Cocoki “started with so many problems,” Emelienne Nyiramana of Cocoki explained, “but with our increasing sales and Indego Africa's training programs, it has grown into a business that makes us proud.”

Fair Trade Bracelets Rebuild Lives

If a small stone starts a landslide, then fair trade bracelets in Rwanda could start a landslide of positive change. The women of Cocoki and Abasangiye are not just rebuilding their lives on the basis of their handmade bracelets; they’re building new lives.

Handmade Bracelet from Rwanda

What If We All Looked at Our Work the Same Way?

Sadly, many of us think that we have little to offer the world, or that there is little we can do about our own circumstances. The women of Cocoki and Abasangiye prove to me that we all can change our lives for the better. We can all take our gifts and talents—and then hone our craft—and do something incredible. We can all embrace who the good God created us to be.

Don’t look at your circumstance and think that there is nothing you can do about it. You can rebuild your life; you can build a new life. Through Jesus, you can do anything.

Be inspired by more stories of handmade products from Rwanda and the people who make them.

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John Barry
John Barry


CEO and Founder of Jesus' Economy. John is the General Editor of the highly acclaimed Faithlife Study Bible and Lexham Bible Dictionary. His new book is Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. It is widely endorsed by Christian leaders from around the world.