I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
We love handmade baskets and some of our favorites are from Rwanda. Some of them came directly from my travels to the area. Some of them, though, we acquired through the Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace program. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell which is which. They serve both artistic and functional purposes in our home. We not only love the amazing colors, but the fact that the baskets are sturdy and ready to actually use!
If we are lucky, we all have experiences in life that touch us and that stay with us for the rest of our lives. For me, one of these experiences was my trip to Rwanda back in the late 90’s. The country was still recovering from the Rwandan Genocide and I remember seeing completely abject poverty…the kind of poverty that we think we know anything about in this country.
What I remember most, though, was a spirit of light, hope, and pride. The people appreciated what they had and were incredibly thankful for anything extra. At a time when most would give up entirely, all I saw were smiles!
Rwandans have been making these baskets for years and Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace program gives the weavers access to a new market while giving you access to these amazing baskets. This program is one of the first “trade not aid” programs, meaning that it is not a charity, but a business initiative where all sides are incentivized to keep it going.
It’s definitely a boon to the weavers, who earn roughly ten times the average Rwandan wage. Check out how the program has helped change the life of this weaver …
Macy’s customers have been buying the Rwandan weavers’ baskets for ten years, which is remarkable given the standard turnover in retail goods and consumer tastes. The open hearts of Macy’s customers have directly supported peace and prosperity in Rwanda. We are excited to share that Macy’s is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda Path to Peace program with a commemorative basket, woven to represent 10 years of peace and prosperity.
Who are you ready to buy a basket for this holiday season? Grab one now and start checking off your holiday shopping list!