In Rwanda, a fair trade cooperative called the Kundagaseke, or “Basket Lovers,” Association is making big waves with their everyday work. By weaving fair trade products, artisans with Kundagaseke are lifting themselves and their community out of poverty.
Weaving goods by hand requires fine skill and a careful eye; in fact, each bracelet takes a full day to create. Though the work takes a lot of time, the 17 women of Kundagaseke love what they do, and are determined to use their business to improve their situations. Their mission is to fight against poverty and to develop themselves.
In addition to weaving baskets, coasters, earrings, and bracelets, the women also farm, and through their work, are able to make enough money to support themselves and their families. They have been able to provide for their basic needs, such as clothes, shoes, soap, and health insurance. Several women have also been able to purchase cell phones and invest in land and domestic animals. This is a huge step that works toward a more stable future in Rwanda for generations to come.
The artisans also use their time together to cultivate an encouraging environment and to discuss unity, culture, and reconciliation. This kind of fellowship and friendship in the workplace is invaluable, and promotes emotional and spiritual wellbeing, in addition to physical security.
The Kundagaseke Association is one of 25 independent artisan groups represented by Azizi Life, a new partner of Jesus’ Economy.