“Giving women money won’t take them anywhere. Just give them knowledge and the rest will work out.”
- Joy Ndungutse co-founded Gahaya Links Cooperatives with her sister Janet Nkubana 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 has grown to include over 5,000 women weavers in 52 different cooperatives across Rwanda, providing 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, and Kate Spade. Today, Gahaya Links "Peace Baskets” are sold and admired the world over.