Triumph After Turmoil Series: Weaving for Peace

With her earnings from selling baskets, Monica Mucamana was able to purchase a motorcycle to diversify her income. USADF is committed to helping artisans like Monica to prosper in post-conflict countries like Rwanda.

With her earnings from selling baskets, Monica Mucamana was able to purchase a motorcycle to diversify her income. USADF is committed to helping artisans like Monica to prosper in post-conflict countries like Rwanda.

In Rwanda, basket-weaving is an age-old tradition. Hand-woven baskets are used for transportation and special ceremonies, and are now one of Rwanda’s most popular exports. USADF grantee Gahaya Links is an artisan cooperative empowering cross-generations of women and girls, widows and orphans, and Hutu and Tutsi alike to build bridges through artisan enterprise. In 2004, two entrepreneurial sisters, Joy Ndungutse and Janet Nkubana, combined their experiences in handicrafts design and marketing to create Gahaya Links. 

Monica Mucamana is president of the Mpanpa Weavers’ Cooperative in Ruhango district, one of the contributing cooperatives that sources to Gahaya Links. In the past, weavers would earn 300 RWF, or less than $1, a week for their handicrafts. Now, weavers can earn up to 3,000 RWF ($4 USD) a week by selling to Gahaya Links.

To read more about how USADF is helping artisans like Monica to build better, more sustainable livelihoods in Rwanda, visit our Remembering Rwanda series.