Last week I attended a basket making workshop and met some inspirational women. The Nyamirambo Women’s Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, was started in 2007 when group of 18 women, mostly single mothers, in the neighbourhood of Nyamirabo, came together to create better lives for themselves and their families. Their goal was to address gender based violence, inequality and discrimination. With some support from a Slovenian Peace Institute, the Swiss A Tree for Rwanda, the Rwandan government, and private individuals, these amazing women have created nothing short of a miracle. Their Centre conducts free courses, geared towards women at risk, in literacy, English, computer skills and sewing; an outreach program in hair dressing is scheduled to start soon. Their line of home décor, clothing and souvenir items, made by their graduates, is lovely, and they offer walking tours, basket making and cooking classes for tourists. There is a library with books in three languages. The Centre is an embodiment of the positivity, and sense of community. of the amazing country of Rwanda.
I do not have a future in basket making, but I had a fun morning making this sisal necklace, with lots of help. The fabric cord is braided strips of 1cm wide fabric, which are twisted (like knitting yarn) as they are braided, to prevent ravelling.
Here are a couple handmade cards and the shopping bag from there. Did you know plastic shopping bags are illegal in Rwanda?
And for those scrap lovers among you… Look at these treasures I discovered in the market. They are made from circles of fabric wrapped yoyo fashion around beer caps, which are then attached to each other where they touch. They looked a lot like EPP hexies to me. Trendy or what?
And then there’s this necklace. Talk about something from nothing! Can’t wait to wear it.
Of course there was fabric. None of it is made in Rwanda, but it is certainly worn there, by stunning women in lovely dresses. I bought myself a couple of 6 yard lengths. I have no idea what I’ll do with it, but until I decide, I can admire the striking colours and patterns.
Now that I’m home, I need to get cracking on projects related to my daughter’s May wedding. No more lazing about like this.
Happy Easter. Enjoy that chocolate, however you come by it.