Only twenty years have passed since genocide tore Rwanda apart, and sometimes it feels like far less. More than half a million people were lost in the brutal ethnic conflict, and its echoes are still felt in a country where reconciliation has been hard-won—and for many is still in process. Many women bore the longest-lasting effects of the violence—separated from their families, victims of brutal assaults, or trying to support children singlehandedly after losing their spouse.
For these women, healing from the pain and powerlessness of the genocide is a process of building hope for the future and confidence in their abilities. It looks like being able to afford electricity, regular meals, essential medicine, and school fees for their children. This is the dream that our partner in Rwanda, Indego Africa, is working toward.
Learn more about the coasters from Cocoki Cooperative, featured in this video.
“The success of Emelienne and Therese [two women whom Indego Africa empowered] is an example of how Indego Africa’s artisan partners are reclaiming control over their futures,” remarked Indego Africa’s previous CEO, Benjamin Stone (in an article published by TheGrio.com). “With access to otherwise unattainable export markets and education, each participating woman is translating her experiences of financial security and increased productivity into a lasting sense of self-worth and pride.”
Learn more about Indego Africa handmade products from Rwanda and how you can help create a bright and hopeful future for Rwandan artisans and their families.