Celebrate Mother’s Day this year by supporting mothers and families around the globe. Over the years, I have shared some great gift ideas that included gifts from Macy's popular Heart of Haiti program. This program creates sustainable income for artisans in Haiti to help rebuild their lives post earthquake. And, with my 2013 Mother's Day Gift Guide in full swing, I wanted to introduce you to another wonderful program from Macy's.com, called Rwanda Path to Peace Project.
"Rwanda Path to Peace is a healing journey and a source of sustainable living that utilizes the incredible skill of weaving that is passed down by generations of Rwandan women. These women have seen their neighbors and their families destroyed by genocide and ethnic cleansing, leaving many of them broken and hopeless, lost in a country where women are considered second-rate citizens because of their gender. Although the genocide was over a decade ago, the recovery from a tragedy of this magnitude is a constant struggle. The sale of the baskets through Macy’s has given these women a source of sustainable income and pride. The women who have participated in this project are incredible and have found a way to restore hope and love among their communities and families with the sale of their baskets. They've gained respect among the men in their community and have been able to provide new clothes and food to their families and children because of the money they've raised.
The Rwanda Path to Peace project was founded by Willa Shalit, a committed leader on the road to helping establish a hopeful future for Rwandan women. Shalit started the project in 2005, when she partnered with Macy’s to make the dream of recovery possible by selling woven baskets made by Rwandan women.
The project and the income it generates has improved the lives of at least 18,000 children, providing access to education, health care and more. The weavers are now able to pay school fees, purchase essential supplies and provide shoes and clean uniforms. They can even afford kerosene and candles to provide light in the evening so children can complete their schoolwork.
Weavers are also able to meet their children’s health and nutritional needs, and perhaps most importantly, they now have affordable health insurance and access to medical care when they need it.
Beyond the obvious benefits of scholastic supplies and health care, the children in weavers’ communities are benefiting in a number of less tangible ways. They feel immense pride in their mother’s ability to provide for them, praising them to friends and telling classmates that their mother’s baskets sell in America. The children are also enjoying strengthened relationships with their fathers who look after them while their mothers weave. The strong, cooperative relationships being forged between women and men are providing excellent examples for the future.
These women are warriors and have found a way to restore hope and love among their communities and families with the sale of their baskets. The baskets are a symbol of strength and courage among the Rwandan women who weave them. For more info go to www.Macys.com/Rwanda/."
When it comes to selecting gifts for those near and dear to me for occasions like birthday and Mother's Day, I always find myself drawn to handmade products. Many handmade products I have purchased over the years have amazing stories behind them. And, if I can help a worthwhile cause in the process of finding just the right gift for someone, that is an added bonus. :-) This is what drew me to the Rwanda Path to Peace project.
"These baskets are a symbol of strength and courage among the Rwandan women who weave them. Macy’s is devoted to assisting the women of Rwanda in creating a sustainable future."
So, why not join me in showing your support for these amazing weavers by purchasing a one-of-a-kind naturally dyed sisal coil-sewn over bundled sweetgrass woven basket, for Mother's Day, or another special occasion this year? These woven baskets made in Rwanda also would look good on display in your home as wall art, table centerpieces, or even to store fresh fruit for the kids to grab from. :-) However you choose to use these 12" hand-woven sweetgrass baskets, it will surely become a treasured keepsake for years to come. And, just knowing that you are helping the women who weaved them in Rwanda, make each and every basket purchased from the Rwanda Path to Peace Project at Macys.com that much more special (Artisans receive half the wholesale price for each item sold). And, each basket includes a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, showing just how unique and one-of-a-kind they are. :-)
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post from Everywhere Society. In exchange for a personal post about the Rwanda Path to Peace project, I was sent a woven basket from Macy's.com as a thank you for my time. However, the views I share are mine and mine alone.