Abarikumwe Association

at a glance

  • Abarikumwe means People Who Are Together Association.

  • Abarikumwe works in the Cyeza community (a Child Development Program community of FH) in Muhanga District.

  • The group has about 10 active members, all women.

  • Abarikumwe’s artistic specialty is weaving with sisal fibers.

a closer look

The women of the Abarikumwe Association are remarkable, delightful, and visionary.  The group began in 2006 through the contagious determination of two neighbors, Yusta and Christine.  These women were tired of weaving alone and selling their crafts for a fraction of their worth.  They set their minds to inviting other women to come together, to learn together, to earn together.  In the past few years, the group has grown in strength and determination.  Weaving together once a week in a parish chapel, the women have exchanged skills and generated creative ideas for designing new products, managing daily stresses, and reaching out to their community.  The group even created a skit, complete with costumes and props, designed to educate their neighbors about the benefit of joining an association as a hopeful solution to poverty.  The skit closes with joyful singing as the women celebrate God’s faithfulness to them and the blessing of the Abarikumwe Association.

Meet Fortunata:  When Fortunata was invited to join the group, it was at a time in her life when she was facing many challenges.  Illness had kept her at home in bed and unable to do other things, including farming. From the first day with Abarikumwe, Fortunata began to learn new skills from other women, and found that it wasn’t too hard!  She reflects back to the first basket she made- it was not very good, she says, laughing, but her second one was very nice! 

community

Muhanga District

  • Population – 307,501
  • Size of District – 648 km2, or 250 miles2
  • Main work – Agriculture (coffee, cassava, vegetables and cereals)
  • Official District Website: www.muhanga.gov.rw