Handmade Mother’s Day Gifts from Rwanda
I recently received a sample Rwandan Path to Peace Basket that took my breath away with its beauty. These baskets now stand out as my top homemade Mother’s Day gift idea. I wanted a handmade Mother’s Day gift. And I found that in the baskets made by Rwandan women whose lives were destroyed in the genocide that occurred in their country in 1994.
I was on the African continent in 1994. I’d gone to Mali to climb the Dogon Cliffs after watching a program on National Geographic about homes built into stone walls where old age for women occurred at age 40. After leaving Mali, I flew to Accra, Ghana on April 6th to join a group and to visit the slave castles along the coast of that beautiful country. While in transit between the two countries, we heard that the airplane carrying the President of Rwanda was shot down. As you would imagine, Civil War broke out in that country.
I had never heard of a Hutu or a Tutsi before that day. But in that Civil War, 800,000 men, women and children died (they were killed) in the genocide as a result of this assassination and the rivalry fomented by the elite minority.
This was a story that I followed because I had been there. What did I know? When the president’s plane went down we thought every plane in the African sky was fair game. It was a story that did not reach the Western public’s consciousness until 2004 when the movie The Rwandan Hotel was released. In truth, the world stood silent while this genocide took place.
In the aftermath of this devastation a project was founded in 2005 by Willa Shalit in partnership with Macy’s to help make the dream of recovery in Rwanda possible by selling woven baskets made by Rwandan women.
Just look at the workmanship of these baskets. You can hang it as art on either side. Not only are they a beautiful gift that any Mother would love but they are also useful. And when you buy a basket you are supporting the rebuilding of this nation.
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post from Everywhere Society. In exchange for a personal post about the Rwanda Path to Peace project, I was sent a woven basket from Macy’s.com as a thank you for my time. However, the views I share are mine alone.