While the effects of the 1994 Rwandan genocide still linger, some survivors have turned the tables on tragedy. In our Small Acts With Big Impact series, we continue our tribute to the artisans of Gahaya Links, the handicraft company that partners with Macy’s on the Rwanda Path to Peace project. Read on to meet one of the artists, Ruth Dusabimana, who has rebuilt her life through the art of basket-weaving.
My name is Ruth Dusabimana. I am a mother of three and my husband has no job, leaving my entire family dependent upon my income. I joined the Gahaya Links cooperative and began weaving baskets for Macy’s. Since then, I have been able to make many needed repairs to my home. I have even been able to make additions to help accommodate my family.
I bought two cows with the money I make weaving baskets. These cows provide food and extra income for me and my family. Thanks to the economic empowerment that has come from working with Macy’s and Gahaya Links I am now seen as an opinion leader in my village.
I played a pivotal role in helping restore unity and reconciliation to my village as a jury member in the traditional Rwandan Gacaca Court. I received the honor of being elected leader of my village’s weaving cooperative. In my efforts to empower other members of the co-op I mobilized all the women to have vegetable gardens in order to fight the malnutrition often faced in Rwanda.
Rwanda Path to Peace Collection is available in select Macy's stores and on macys.com