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Women’s Artisans Associations

Empowering Communities

The purpose of this partnership is to support business development for two women’s associations in Ruli, Rwanda. In Sub-Saharan Africa, food insecurity is an independent risk factor for HIV. This program encourages economic development for women who are HIV infected or are at high risk of HIV infection due to extreme poverty by providing access to a marketplace in which they can sell their crafts. The Ihangane Project emphasizes the importance of long term autonomy for these groups, and works with each group to build upon their unique strengths. This program provides those who are living with HIV infection with the financial stability necessary to provide both for their families and for themselves.  In addition, this will allow women who are at highest risk of HIV infection a safe alternative for supporting their families.

The Reinvestment Project

The Ihangane Project purchases the handmade crafts from the Women’s Association in Ruli. In turn, The Ihangane Project sells the products in a variety of different markets, and 100% of the profit is returned to each group in a yearly dividend. Both groups are working to meet the government requirements to become official cooperatives. They are saving funds to pay the needed fees, and have reached out to local government officials for their support. Our goal is to strengthen each group’s sense of ownership and business autonomy by providing them with skills to make informed business decisions. The goal of this partnership is to develop a sustainable system that will both provide a stable income for high risk women and provide access to additional socioeconomic supports for themselves and their families. 

Visit our online shop for a sampling of the women’s products.