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Rwandan Handwoven Sisal Earrings

Item # 30048

Funds 25 cups of food.

Measurements
& More Details

Outlet! Was $16.95, now $7.80!


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From a country that's been torn apart by violence and despair comes a lovely beacon of hope. Handwoven by the artisans of Gahaya Links -- a group founded in 2003 by Janet Nkubana and Joy Ndungutse, two sisters who are improving the rural Rwandan economy through the marketing of artisan handicrafts.

Dyed in your choice of Black, Red, Blue or Brown, the sisal fiber is harvested from the hardy agave plant, and is typically used around the world to make sturdy ropes, baskets, rugs, and so much more. Because machine-prepared sisal tends to yield inferior results, much of the work of stripping, cleaning, and spinning is still done by hand -- as are these beautiful earrings.

Earrings measure 1.25" L (3.2 cm) and have sterling wires for pierced ears. Handmade in and fairly traded from Rwanda.

Created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time. Become a "Global Girlfriend" and help build a brighter future for girlfriends around the globe!

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Artisan: Gahaya Links

Artisan Gahaya Links

In the tiny, land-locked country of Rwanda, ravaged by the 1994 genocide that created hundreds of thousands of widows, hope might seem hard to come by. But this conflict-ravaged place is also the home to Gahaya Links, a company with a vision of peace between Hutus and Tutsis, of employment and income for female heads of household, and of a brighter future for all.

Gahaya Links was founded in 2003 by Joy Ndungutse and Janet Nkubana, two sisters who have found that the way to weave straw into gold is through fair trade. Gahaya Links works with 54 cooperatives throughout Rwanda, employing thousands of weavers, most of whom are women. Each cooperative is run by a democratically-elected president, secretary, and treasurer -- literacy is the only requirement -- and each cooperative is structured so that Hutu and Tutsi weavers work side by side, promoting reconciliation as the country struggles to come back from its long nightmare.

"Our main achievement is seeing how the women we work with have changed from how they were [directly post-genocide] to how they are now." --Joy Ndungutse

Joy Ndungutse's designs are taught to master weavers from each cooperative, who travel to the headquarters in Kigali to learn new designs and techniques as they are decided upon. The master weavers then return to their cooperatives to teach the other weavers, thus fostering leadership and community as well as guaranteeing standardized quality.

In addition to the weavers' salaries, Gahaya Links puts one dollar into a savings account for each basket completed. The mandatory savings program has enabled the weavers to afford more-nutritious food, pay for their children's education, obtain medical care, and afford to wear shoes. None of these things were possible on their previous incomes.

Through their dedication and work, Joy Ndungutse and Janet Nkubana have created a flourishing business that is sowing the seeds for a lasting peace.

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