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Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

Time flies, can you believe we are already past the half year mark? Just the other day we welcomed the New Year with long lists of resolutions. Well, the year doesn’t feel so new anymore, it’s that time of the year when energy levels sink, we get sucked into the routine of life and many times become complacent. All these are symptoms of Mid Year blues.


Posted by Editor On JULY- 18 - 2011

Growing up, I was a ‘someday girl’. I had dreams of someday publishing a book, someday working for a newspaper, someday being an editor, someday. Until one day many years later I woke up to the realization that someday was today; the only assurance we have, not 2 years from now or tomorrow but today.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

For some April habitually brings in to mind Spring; sunshine, blooming flowers, the green of trees and sliding into flip flops. For me, April is just April because luckily where I live the beauty of ‘Spring’ and getting high on Vitamin D is something I experience every day.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

As I kid, one of my all time favorite TV shows was 'The Jefferson’s'. As I write this, the theme song is playing in my head. “Well we’re movin’ on up, to the east side, moving on up, to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Moving on up, to the east side, moving on up,we finally got a piece of the pie.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

February is a special month, apart from the red roses, boxes of chocolate, great deals and the romance, it’s also the month we celebrate the history and contributions of African American men and women to society in the name of Black History Month.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18- 2011

Happy New Year!Yes, I know I'm a little late on the wishes just like the way I'm late with our new January Issue but it's finally here. New year, new layout, new name, basically, new things. Its all about the new new! For all those who knew this blog as The Ladies Room, I now introduce you to AfroElle; a blog for women of afro-descent from all over the world.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

The year has literally flown by, I can't believe it's already December. To many, December is a month of in depth self evaluation and stock taking; taking that walk down memory lane to see if you accomplished the goals you set at the beginning of the year.It's also about looking at your present to see what has worked for you or what you need to eliminate before you head on to the new year.

Featured Cause: Only One Basket

Posted by AfroElle On 12:29 AM

Basket weaving has been one of Rwanda's greatest craft, and also a community activity from and hundreds of years ago. On March 11th 2011, Only One Basket Campaign was launched officially launched at the Rwandan High Commission in London UK. The idea behind the Only One Basket Campaign is that you can buy a single item that would help advance trade and better the lives of the producers. The vision is to sell Rwandan artifacts to people in the west with a mission to alleviate poverty amongst Rwandans.

Each of the weavers based in Gitarama, is a survivor and a widow of the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. They are women who are fighting to overcome poverty, social exclusions and fighting to have financial independence.

I first heard of the Only One Basket Campaign via Twitter. To find out more about the campaign, I went ahead and followed @BeautyofRwanda. Inspired by the campaign I got in touch with Salha Kaitesi, the Rwandan woman behind the UK based company Beauty of Rwanda who describes herself as a 'devoted mother with old fashioned values. Confident, reliable, supportive. Beauty of Rwanda sells and markets the handmade artifacts and got to ask her a couple of questions regarding the campaign and about her passion for the empowerment of Rwanda Women. Read on.

What do you love about your homeland Rwanda?
Everything!I love the fact that Rwanda is very green! I get so emotional when the plane is nearly touching the runway, whenever I travel back, when you can see the country and can’t wait to be on the ground. I just love it!! It is home.

What inspired you to start the Beauty of Rwanda site and start marketing the crafts?

I came across the weavers by accident. Would normally see their crafts around Kigali city but hadn’t really been able to look at it in a different angle i.e. who was weaving and why were they weaving? I got to know a few ladies and found out about their lives and realised that I wanted to help them in moving forward, empowering them on a much higher level. So I thought of getting a website ready and where I would be able to sell and market their crafts.

What is the aim of The Beauty of Rwanda?
We aim to empower Rwandan women through the sell of their hand woven crafts. We want these women to be able to afford the basic things that we all take for granted here in the west i.e. clothing, education for them and their children and food!

What is the ‘Only One Basket’ campaign about?

This is Beauty of Rwanda’s campaign of trying to get everyone involved in empowering the women of Rwanda without an individual over stretching their pockets. We ask that you/household buy at least one of the crafts that we sell. If everyone did this, we would make a huge difference in their world.

Why did you decide to focus on the empowerment of women as the main beneficiaries of the campaign

To this day, women are not taken as equals to men and because of that they suffer! Women are the majority in heads of households in Rwanda they are the ones who need empowering and encouraged and told that they too can make it in this male dominated world! I praise the Rwandan government for all they are doing for them. The other day I read an article that said Rwanda was one of the best countries to be born a girl… The sky is the limit for the Rwandese women.

What is your ultimate dream for your campaign?

My dream is that our campaign continues to get lots of support wherever we take it. I want to be able to make a difference in these women’s lives. I want to see them provide for their families for years to come without worrying where the next meal will come from.

"Only One Basket" campaign ambassador Kenyan model Ciru Maina

I’ve seen you mention (on twitter) that the ‘Only One Basket’ campaign is not a charity but fair trade, why are you passionate about fair trade?

Rwanda has a lot to offer to the world and so does the rest of the African continent. I believe we can sustain ourselves. We just need to believe more in our capabilities.With the right platform, Rwanda and Africa can do it for themselves!

Find out more about Only One Basket from Beauty of Rwanda website, Twitter or Facebook Page 

2 Response to "Featured Cause: Only One Basket"

  1. Sylvia Said,

    Wow, Rwanda is blessed to have women like you Salha. I like the last symbolic picture of baskets, as Rwandans, we shall definitely grow big eventually. Thanks for this feature AFROELLE.

    Sylvia Uhirwa


  2. Joski Diesel Said,

    I really love this article and everything it stands for. I intend to invest in some of the products on the website and promote this initiative. I think it is truly beautiful and I am happy that AfroElle helped shine a spotlight on it!


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