Source: Voice of America | 23 July 2015
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In the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, with thousands of families decimated, and many Rwandans left to fend for themselves, Janet Nkubana devised a way to help women become self-reliant.
“They had lost husbands, they had lost children, some were the only surviving member of a family. It led to me and my sister Joy thinking of how we can make ends meet for these women,” Nkubana said. “The only opportunity that was available was the handwork that women knew how to do, which was weaving.”
Nearly 20 years later, Nkubana is the co-founder and managing director of Gahaya Links, selling handwoven baskets and handmade jewelry overseas to large American retailers such as Macy’s.
“We have actually empowered more than 3,000 women in Rwandan communities. These women are no long on the street begging, they can buy their own health insurance, they can pay tuition for their children,” Nkubana said.