by: Azizi Life
Across the thousand hills of Rwanda, groups of women are sitting together, weaving sisal baskets in the traditional way. Over 4,500 stitches go into one medium basket alone! The sisal fiber is extracted from the long leaf of a plant that resembles aloe. When the green fleshy part of the leaf is stripped away, white string-like fibers remain. These fibers are cleaned and dried, cooked in dye, and then woven into traditional forms- such as the peaked peace basket, or less traditional forms- like earrings or napkin rings. The peace basket is still used in Rwanda for special gift giving. Many local homes have these baskets proudly displayed, or put to practical use holding dry goods like beans or rice. Our Sisal Peace Basket is a beautiful and practical way to bring a distinctively Rwandan touch to your decorating, storing, or gift-giving!
The Abahuje Cooperative is a group of women who specialize in weaving bowls from forest grasses and sisal fibers. They are from Ruhango in Byimana sector. Until they formed a cooperative to work with Azizi Life, a partner organization of Jesus' Economy, the weavers of Abahuje didn’t have a market where they could sell their products. They now receive a fair price for their products, and with their income, can meet the basic needs of their families. Some members have built their own homes and some have installed electricity in their homes. Many group members have been able to buy solar lamps and fuel-efficient stoves on a micro-finance agreement with Azizi Life. When the women meet every Thursday to weave, they discuss the best ways to use their income. They advise each other on using the money that they earn from Azizi Life. The group consists of 20 women, both mamas and younger, unmarried women. Their goals are to be the best weavers by improving their quality, and to construct a small building for their cooperative.
"Weaving together and sharing advice, the women of Abahuje are collaborating to bring improved life to their families. Their dream is to build a weaving house for their cooperative." - The Abahuje Cooperative
Provides income for a co-op of female artisans.
An artisan weaves for 4 to 5 days to create one basket.
The design is a traditional pattern called umuraza, which represents a path traveled together.
Allows dignity to return in the lives of those who are unable to provide for their family.
Creates jobs in a small Rwandan village, for women from extreme poverty situations.
Part of the Jesus' Economy shopping model, benefiting developing world communities.
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