As a mom I can’t even fathom not being able to feed my precious children or be out on the street or living in a car because I can’t make ends meet. Just thinking about it brings hurt to my heart. I will do whatever is necessary and make huge sacrifices so they won’t suffer.
But unfortunately for so many Rwandan women, they are left penniless without hope or the possibility of earning an income. These women have seen their neighbors and their families destroyed by genocide and ethnic cleansing. This left many of them broken and hopeless, lost in a country where women are considered second rate citizens because of their gender. Although the genocide was over a decade ago, the recovery from a tragedy of this magnitude is a constant struggle.
But thanks to the Rwanda Path to Peace project founded by Willa Shalitis, these women are warriors and have found a way to restore hope and love among their communities and families with the sale of their baskets. Shalitis is a fearless leader on the road to a hopeful future for the Rwandan women. Shalitis started the project in 2005, when she partnered with Macy’s to make the dream of recovery possible by the selling of woven baskets made by the Rwandan women.
The women have gained respect among the men in their community and have been able to provide new clothes and food to their families and children because of the money they have raised. The baskets are a symbol of strength and courage among the Rwandan women who weave them. Macy’s is devoted to assisting the women of Rwanda in creating a sustainable future.
This is the basket Macy’s sent to me. It has incredible craftsmanship that is nearly perfect construction.Kinda hard to believe it’s not machine made and quite remarkable that so many women in Rwanda have this much talent and innovation. I am proud to hold one of these baskets and to have one in my home as a centerpiece of conversation to share with other the healing journey of these incredible baskets. The baskets provide a source of sustainable living that utilizes the incredible skill of weaving that is passed down by generations of Rwandan women. The sales of the baskets through Macy’s has given these women a source of sustainable income and pride. Knowing this truly makes me proud to share their stories.
For more info go to www.Macys.com/Rwanda