Sunday, October 25, 2015

Product Review: Rwanda Path to Peace Baskets from Macy's

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency; however, 
all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

What were you doing in 1994? I was graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in Journalism and Communication Studies. Getting ready to kick off my career in radio, television and the interwebs. 

I'm guessing you weren't scared for your life - living through (if you were lucky) one of the worst genocides in human history. This is what was happening in Rwanda and there I was in Journalism school without a clue. 

Rwandan women had to become the leaders of their households after these atrocities. Their husbands, fathers and brothers were either killed or jailed. The women began weaving baskets as a trade. It now supports thousands of women!

In 2005, an American activist & entrepeneur Willa Shalit showed the baskets to executives at Macy’s who committed to sell them and to go into business with the weavers in Rwanda. Macy’s offered them a hand up, not a handout - which is awesome.

Each basket is hand-signed by the woman who made it. It's a beautiful gift that gives to someone you love as well as someone you've never met before. And it's a great gift to the women of Rwanda - these weavers make 10x the average Rwandan wage!

I also love the resilience of the women of Rwanda. Too many times - people in unfortunate situations (sometimes of their own doing) look for a handout. These women were unjustly put into a horrible situation and what they did was get up and make something happen. And not only did they make something happen - they made BEAUTY.

These baskets are truly beautiful - the colors are so vibrant! Macy's has quite a selection of them as well - different patterns and colors - so pretty!

This si the 10th Anniversary of the Macy's Rwanda Path to Peace program and they have some special 10th Anniversary baskets in stores now. The smaller one is the commemorative anniversary basket and is just $30. That's the other great thing - the baskets are beautiful and affordable.

There is a HUGE selection too - with baskets starting at $14.97 - there is something for everyone!

These baskets are part of the Rwandan culture - so when they were looking for a symbol of hope - these made perfect sense to be that beacon. With their earnings from this program, these women send their kids to school, can buy everything from soap to land and ends up rebuilding their communities. 

If you'd like to know more about Macy's outstanding commitment to Rwanda Path to Peace check out these videos: 

And this story of Dorocella:

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