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Artisans from Rwanda

Igira Impuhwe

As markets open up, the women of Igira Impuhwe [i-GI-ru im-HU-we] in Rwanda earn needed income from the sales of their eco-friendly, handwoven grass baskets. The artisan group lifts women, like Mukangenzi Laurance, out of desperate poverty. She now rents a home, has health insurance for her family, bought clothes for the children, and rents a garden to grow food. Each woman in the group is also presented with the life-changing offer of eternal life; Mukangenzi thanks God for changing her live. Igira Impuhwe means “God is compassionate” in Kinyarwanda.

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More Than Sparrows

More Than Sparrows, an artisan group in Kigali, Rwanda, uses a holistic approach to break impoverished women from the bonds of sex trafficking. The group strives to address all parts of these women’s lives, including their social, economic, physical, and spiritual needs. More Than Sparrows provides an opportunity for women to have some kind of income by making craft items which will help them leave a life of prostitution and continue to support themselves and their families. With this income, the women can afford necessities of day-to-day living, such as sending their children to school, paying for medical insurance, and purchasing food. These women are also shown love and for the first time experience hope. In addition to craft training, the women meet weekly to participate in lessons in spiritual matters, literacy, small business planning, parenting, and health. Earning an income by making beautiful handmade crafts helps to restore these women’s dignity and self-esteem, which paves the way toward breaking the cycle of poverty.

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