We are currently running a campaign to help improve the lives of women in Rwanda, where we have worked for the past eight years. Through delivering practical training and mentoring to ten handcraft co-operatives the project will enable the organisations to become sustainable and provide increased incomes for their producers. Find out more about this project here, or watch the video from our previous project in Rwanda below to see what difference our work can make.

Shared Interest Foundation first started working in Rwanda in 2008, providing training to a group of co-operatives who produced handcrafts. These co-operative groups had been formed by women who came together after the 1994 genocide. Having lost their husbands, and with them, the household income, they had to develop new opportunities to feed themselves and their children.

These co-operative groups provide a vital source of income to a country where 45% of the population live below the poverty line, with 24% considered in extreme poverty (National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, 2011).

Through our previous projects in Rwanda, the increase in producers incomes has meant that they can afford to eat two meals a day instead of one, and others can afford mattresses, so they no longer need to sleep on the floor.

While these may seem like small increases, the benefit to the individuals is huge. By helping to increase the incomes of more producers in a way that is self-sustaining, we hope to create a sustainable future for these handcraft producers.