“If you go to Rwanda today, there are so many young boys and young girls who are not job seekers, but job creators. All of these initiatives – they are creating jobs. When you teach me a skill I will utilize it to make an income and maybe employ another person,”
- Janet Nkubana, co-founded Gahaya Links Cooperatives with her sister Joy Ndungutse shortly after the Rwandan genocide ended in 1994. These inspiring sisters had a vision to turn ancient basket weaving skills into a source of livelihood for thousands of rural women. Many of the women, like Janet and Joy themselves, were returning refugees or survivors of the genocide. The women started weaving baskets in exchange for food. Initially bringing together about twenty women, the sisters taught them how to weave and how to enhance their weaving skills with new design techniques. Today, Gahaya Links manages a network of over 4,000 weavers across the country, organised into around 72 cooperatives that help provide much needed income and stability. The sisters have successfully opened the business to international markets, partnering with the likes of Macy’s, Walmart, Oprah Magazine, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, and Kate Spade. Today, Gahaya Links "Peace Baskets” are sold and admired the world over.