There are about 20,000 people living on Nkombo Island, which remained unclaimed by any country until about two decades ago. Bishop Nathan Amooti, the local Anglican Bishop of the Cyangugu Diocese, saw the need in this underdeveloped area, and brought together several churches and organizations to work together to equip the people of Nkombo Island with the tools necessary to rise above poverty.
You can read more about the Nkombo Island Project here.
We have created a program that provides a market that showcases traditional Rwandan handiwork and artisanal skills that have been passed down for generations, encourages literacy and education, and helps develop skills that will equip those in our program long after they leave.
Each of our artisans are paid an above-fair wage and earn a consistent monthly income, which allows them to provide for their families, send their children to school and/or attend school themselves, and save money for any future ventures.
Most of the women have not had the opportunity to attend school, due to the poverty level. Our program prioritizes education - whether that is sending an artisan to school for the first time or giving them the opportunity to return to school and obtain their diploma - and offers financial assistance towards tuition and supplies.
Life Skills Workshops
Several times a year, we host workshops on the island to teach our artisans practical life skills to enrich their lives and those of their families and communities. Past workshops have included family planning and financial savings.
All of our artisans are involved in a weekly literacy class that is teaching our artisans how to read and write for the very first time. One group is learning the alphabet, a second group is learning to read and write, and the third group is learning basic English - all crucial skills for our women to thrive in their communities.