by: Azizi Life
Jacaranda trees add to the beauty of Rwanda, with their feathery leaves and small purple flowers. They are also special in that they grow back after being cut. Artisans use Jacaranda branches to carve these charming little birds, which are similar in size to our Rwandan fire finches. They look beautiful clustered against the dark evergreen of a Christmas tree.
In 2003, a community of Catholic nuns in Cyeza Parish provided training in woodcarving to two disabled members of the community. Those two men went on to train three others, and the Inganzo woodcarvers’ association was born. This Association specializes in carving wooden figures significant to faith or Rwandan culture, such as nativities or statues of Rwandans in the midst of daily life. They also carve wooden toys.
Rural life can be very tough, particularly for those who are physically challenged, and the income and dignity from Inganzo’s work has proved to be very significant for all seven of the group’s current members. So far the artisans of Inganzo have used the profit from their wood carving activities to buy small animals such as pigs and hens which they use to supplement their income from the sale of eggs and meat. When they began, all of the members were single. Now many of the men have been able to build homes, marry, and begin families.
"Everything I have comes from my craft: my house, my animals, my land. Because of my disability, I cannot do all of the normal work at home. But with my income, I can hire someone to help my wife with the farming, bring grass for our cow, and deliver firewood from our small forest." -Aimable Ngabikeye, Ingazo Cooperative.
Provides income for men with disabilities and their families.
Allows dignity to return in the lives of those who are unable to provide for their family.
Provides the necessary income for marriage opportunities and providing for children.
Creates jobs in Rwanda, for men from extreme poverty situations.
Part of the Jesus' Economy shopping model, benefiting developing world communities.
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