Following the genocide, these widows were left to pick up the pieces and somehow make a new life. With their husbands dead, the widows from the Tutsi and Hutu Tribes came together and made peace. By weaving baskets together, these women found a way of healing through a centuries-old, common element of Rwandan culture—the household basket. The design woven onto the basket pictured on the left symbolizes two hands joined together. The widows chose this design because it symbolized forgiveness, peace, and unity by drawing together two opposing sides that had suffered so much. The weaving and selling of these baskets to Western markets has gained the Rwandan widows economic independence and improved their local communities.
Now, 24 years later, 50% of homes in Rwanda are run by women. These women continue to live in extreme poverty.
Often, $1.25 a day or less is what they have to feed and shelter themselves and their children. However, they are slowly rebuilding their lives, homes, and nation.
While Rwandan women have experienced
what some would call a fate worse than death,
Rafiki brings the hope of the Gospel through daily Bible study and the hope of restored livelihoods through the sale of Widows’ Product. Supporting these widows and their families is our privilege and our passion. Please join us in this work!