This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Every now and then I come across a project that I really believe in – something that touches my heart and that I want to help share awareness of. Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace in one of these. I was an International Affairs major in college, and one thing that I was really interested in was the Rwandan genocide that took place in 1994. To be honest, in these classes was the first time I had ever even heard of the Rwandan genocide and I was shocked that that just 15 years prior to that time such a horrible thing could have occurred while the rest of the world just sat back. America was completely unaware that a mass genocide was occurring in Rwanda – in a time period of just three months over a million people were massacred in Rwanda as a result of ethnic violence.
When the genocide was over, many Rwandan woman found themselves as the breadwinners of their families, as their husbands had either been killed or were facing prison time for crimes they committed. Women from both sides of the conflict came together to weave baskets and create an industry that supports them and their families.
In 2005, just 11 years after the Rwandan genocide, Macy’s launched their Rwanda Path to Peace Initiative which is still ongoing today. When you buy one of these baskets from Macy’s you are supporting the Rwandan women. Macy’s Path to Peace is one of the first “trade not aid” programs – instead of handing out charity the program is build to develop business and provide incentives for all sides to keep the program going. It is also one of the longest lasting programs of its kind – women in this program earn roughly ten times more than the average Rwandan, and with their earnings women have been able to send children to school, purchase necessities, and rebuild their communities. Check out the stories of Doracella, Christina, and Ruth. The making of these baskets is an intricate process practiced for centuries in Rwanda. See the process of making the baskets here.
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this program Macy’s is releasing a commemorative basket, representing 10 years of peace and prosperity. These gorgeous baskets not only help decorate your home, but are contributing to an amazing cause.
Check out all of the baskets here – I’d love to know your favorite style, let me know below!