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Who We are

After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda was faced with a gender imbalance, with many women left as widows, single mothers, wives with husbands facing long jail terms, and teenage orphaned girls. Thus, our artisans are are less privileged rural Rwandans, majority women whose relatives and husbands were either killed during the genocide, fled the country or are in prison charged with genocide related cases.

Gahaya Links was founded to train rural women after the devastating 1994 Rwanda Genocide that left over 1 million dead. In 1990's sisters Joy Ndunguste and Janet Nkubana offered the women a small shop to sell their baskets and earn an income to meet their basic necessities.  The sisters later offered to meet the women in their villages and learn how they could use an old Rwanda traditional skill to better their lifestyles. From a humble beginning under a tree in a remote village called Gitarama,  the sisters organized about twenty women and taught them how to weave, how to enhance their weaving skills with new design techniques and how to work together by looking beyond their ethnic differences. Today Gahaya Links is a growing network of over 4,000 weavers across the country organized in 52 savings cooperatives.

Gahaya Links became the first Rwandan handcraft export company to benefit from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by exporting to the United States. Gahaya Links is now the leading of Rwanda’s one-of-a- kind baskets commonly known as "Peace Baskets". Gahaya Links wavers are take responsibilty for callling them the peace baskest, for they put their differences aside in order to work together and build their communities and a country once so devastated.