Twiyubake means “Let Us Build Ourselves Up”
and that’s just what these amazing women are doing!
The Twiyubake Women’s Cooperative was founded in 2008 as part of the larger Never Again Fellowship in eastern Rwanda. There are currently 300 people in the group. The women have an ambitious entrepreneurial spirit with experience making traditional handcrafts (beautiful necklaces made from recycled paper and baskets made from banana leaves) which they sell in the local market.
They had been doing research since 2013 to identify economic opportunities in their community based on the skills of their members, what they spend money on the most, and the demands of the local community. They found that the existing sewing industry in their area does not meet all the customers’ needs and there is little competition in this area.
In April 2014, Kathy Bart, a WD4H supporter, funded knitting and sewing machines so the women can produce a broad range of high quality dresses and school uniforms at a competitive price to meet the demands of low to middle-income residents in the small town of Kayonza (5,100 residents). One of the co-op members is a skilled seamstress, but they hired a teacher to make sure their instruction was complete.
The business opened in May 2015, and is being managed by the co-op members. 75% of the profit will be shared among the co-op members for their family’s economic development. The remainder will be deposited in the co-op’s bank account. World Dancer and Board member Danna Mead is working with Justin (our Rwanda Program Director) to monitor the business during this start-up phase. The women continue to produce their handcrafts, while spearheading the new sewing/knitting business in their community!
I’m so glad I could help with the knitting and sewing venture. What beautiful ladies! Their incredible spirit, talent and incentive is just so touching and heartfelt. – Kathy
“THANK YOU KATHY” VIDEOS
Knitting, sewing, and handcrafts – busy women!