This year will be our family’s first Christmas as a family of 4, and we couldn’t be more excited. As the holidays were approaching, I came across multiple articles that discussed Christmas traditions, many of which our 10 month old twins are too small to participate in. One tradition that Derrick and I have always done together though, was to get a new ornament for our tree every year. So, we thought, we’ll continue this tradition, while hopefully coming up with a way to encourage showing compassion and support to others, as our boys grow up. (I was gifted a product from the Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace line, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)
Our new ornament this year was handcrafted by a wonderful weaver in Rwanda, and among other ornaments and beautiful baskets, is sold through Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace. Not only is it handmade, but it comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by the lovely lady who crafted it, as well as some information about Path to Peace. If you’re wondering about Rwanda Path to Peace beforehand, then let me fill you in on a little history…
Over 20 years ago, Rwanda (a small country in Africa), experienced one of the worst genocides that mankind has ever seen. Tribal hatred between the Tutsis and Hutus resulted in the loss of approximately 20% of their population, or almost one million people. Can you imagine that? This left many women to be the sole providers for their families, due to so many males being killed or imprisoned. How would these women, now the heads of their households, generate enough income to survive? Well, the intricate process of basket weaving had been part of the culture in Rwanda for centuries, and something that the women could bond over. Amazingly enough, they did just that, and created an industry for their baskets. The baskets have since become a symbol of peace that has now been shared all over the world thanks to activist, Willa Shalit, who approached Macy’s with the baskets 10 years ago.
Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace is now celebrating their 10 year anniversary. This means that for 10 years, this trade-not-aid program has helped families to earn about 10 times the average Rwandan wage. This income has helped them to rebuild their communities, pay for healthcare, send children to school, and so on. The once malnourished children of years ago, are now strong healthy adults.
If you’re looking for a way to not only keep up with your own holiday traditions, like us, but also a way to show support for others, please keep ornaments and other items from Rwanda Path to Peace in mind. Even just the sharing of this post can spread awareness for a great cause, that people might not otherwise hear about. If you’d like to meet one of the weavers, click here to learn more about Ruth! If you’d like to learn more about the Rwanda Path to Peace, this article is a great place to start! Check out the photos below of our ornament, and once again, visit Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace to check out all items available (not just limited to holiday items)!