Monday, October 17, 2011
You can purchase one of these amazingly soft and colorful scarves here. You can learn more about our partner, Indego Africa, now a partner of the Ingenzi Knit Union, here and here.
The kniters made over 4,500 Sarapo scarves in record time and are continuing to work with Indego Africa to grow their business and help more and more members.
You can also meet members of the Ingenzi Knit Union here. Their website is still in development, but you can see many of their members.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Thanks so much! Perhaps one day you or one of your students will be able to visit that amazing country.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Above, Rwanda Knits' Project Manager, Patrick Nimubona, explains to the elected representatives of the three member cooperatives what is required to write a grant. They then elect, through secret ballot, the five members of the grant-writing team: Eric, Kayitesi, Domitille, Daphrose and Augustin. These five will meet for the next 5 days and will prepare their draft together with a budget. This is very hard work and congratulations were well deserved! But the grant-writing goes on, with translations, advice, buget re-writes, changes - just as it is for any grant application. And when we told the group that last year there were 100 applications for 7 grants and asked if they still wanted to apply, all hands went up. Now that's confidence! Here's the grant-writing team hard at work at the RAPP offices:
And just before we left Rwanda, we thought it would be a good idea if the members of the Ingenzi Knit Union paid a visit to another artisan cooperative, this one a sewing one called Ineza. They exchanged ideas, loved to know there were others they might collaborate with and pledged to see each other again. Here's a shot from that very quick "field trip" (just outside RAPP's back door). Note that some of Ineza's product line can be found at http://manosdemadres.com/.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Rose marked her thirtieth birthday this year with a momentous accomplishment: her election as President of the Ingenzi Knit Union. She has been a member of Mpore Mama Cooperative for years, gaining knitting skills with the support of Rwanda Knits and the Imbuto Foundation, and promises to be “committed to my job and try to work equitably to consider the needs of all members of the union.” She looks forward to several benefits of Union membership, including the chance “to work together, to gain skills through training, and to get advise from various people.” She also anticipates meeting challenges ranging from convincing fellow co-op members to be active participants in meetings to finding new markets. “Rwandan women are standing up,” she says, “but we need more training so that we have enough skills to develop partnerships with people outside Rwanda and look for new markets in the USA.”
“After being elected as a member of the Board of Directors, I will advise my colleagues on how we can develop the Ingenzi Knit Union,” says twenty-six-year-old Josiane. Even if her primary cooperative, Mpore Mama, lacks adequate means on its own, “I expect we [Union members] will join forces together in this knitting activity.” She asks that her supporters “continue to help us so that we can achieve self-sustainability.”
“I will do my best to supervise well the entry and exit of our wealth,” says twenty-nine-year-old Godeberthe, who was elected to the Supervisory Committee of the Ingenzi Knit Union. Although her primary cooperative, Mpore Mama, lacked the capacity to access new markets, she expects that the Union will drastically improve their lot by sheer force of collaboration: “Benefits I expect are being together to share knowledge and discussing together on common issues.” She asks that supporters “stay beside us” as they continue to work and grow together.
Twenty-seven-year-old Caritas serves as both a member of the Ingenzi Knit Union Supervisory Committee and one of the top models for the Rwanda Knits project. She loves showing off the latest in Rwandan knitwear fashion almost as much as she loves knitting! With the support of her husband Pascal and two-year-old son, she is excited to move from President of Hosiana Cooperative to this new leadership role in the Union. “I wish to help establish a fair system of working,” she says.Anticipating challenges that new leaders in the Union may hesitate to take risks or make the decisions necessary, she expects that having more capacity will help the Union to be strong. “The Union will be the speaker for all the primary cooperatives at the highest level.”