Hand CraftsMany widows are talented when it comes to sewing and craft making but lack the resources required to fulfil their potential. Sewing machines, fabrics and some of the craft supplies are too expensive or difficult to find. As clothes are generally made-to-measure in Rwanda being able to sew is potentially a good source of income. Comfort Rwanda & Congo has supplied several sewing machines and also promoted the passing on of skills through investing in sewing classes. We have also invested particularly in the Gatenga Survivors Craft Group who now supply the Fair Trade goods which are for sale from our online shop.
Craft Group at Gatenga, Kigali
The widows group at Gatenga, supported by Good News International, has built a thriving craft business. Using generations-old Rwandan skills the widows weave, cut and shape a variety of raw materials including sisal, beans, banana leaves, local fabric and recycled calendars into beautiful, interesting and high quality products. The creations include jewellery, stuffed african animals, eye-catching fabric bags, banana leaf cards, model motos and woven fruit bowls. Originally coming together for support and to share their grief and pain following the genocide in 1994 these amazing women have become a self-sufficient, forward looking group. They use their profits to sow back into their business and provide food and education for their families.
Since I have been in the crafts group my life has changed. As a group we are like a family and are together. We are now able to provide food and school fees for our families because of the money from the crafts.
I am in the bakery and the embroidery projects. Because of the money I make from the projects I can now eat properly. My weight was 40 kgs before I started with the group but I am now 70kgs. I can feed my children. I am also really helped by the counselling and prayer and listening to the word of God.
I make banana leaf cards such as Christmas and thank-you cards. The money is shared equally in the group and we buy school materials, books, shoes and school uniforms.
After the genocide we were left with nothing...nowadays we are at a good stage, some of us who have children can pay school fees easily and others can meet daily needs through the selling of our works.