People Fighting For Development Cooperative
Abaharaniriterambere Cooperative began with one woman who had a desire to change the world around her. Immaculee Nyiramuhakwa was well aware of the poverty in her home and community. She was also aware of the value of the weaving skills she possessed. At Immaculee’s invitation, a group of poor women from the community came together and began to learn a craft with the hope of earning a livelihood. More than 15 years later, the Abaharaniriterambere Cooperative – a group of 26 women and 2 men – is working with excellence in their area of specialty, creating functional household items from banana leaves.
The group’s goal is to develop themselves and their community through their art. In the past year, the group members have been able to use their income to provide food, clothing, and soap for their families. The married women of the group have seen peace and happiness grow in their homes as they have had the opportunity for financial independence and the dignity of being significant contributors to the family’s wellbeing. The members of Abaharaniriterambere use their time together not only to weave and exchange advice, but to discuss important topics such as women’s rights. With Immaculee still leading the way, this group is determined to continue to better themselves and their communityand to stand strong in Rwanda’s vision for a better future.
The artisans currently work in the local schoolyard in Nyaruguru District, but they dream of building their own weaving house.