at a glance
- Kanguka Mutegarugori means Wake Up, Women! Association.
- Earnings in 2009 enabled the Kanguka women to buy health insurance for their families.
- Kanguka’s artistic specialty is weaving small ornamental baskets.
- About 13 women are members of Kanguka.
- Kanguka works in Muhanga District.
a closer look
The small group of women of the Kanguka Mutegarugori Association joined together in April 2007, determined to fight against the poverty and loneliness that was looming over their homes. The women saw weaving as a means to gain some financial independence from their husbands, many of whom kept a tight grip on the families’ limited funds in order to fuel their alcoholism. Progress has been slow for this association, as it takes much time and care to develop excellent weaving skills. But they have shown admirable tenacity, and in 2009 were able to purchase health insurance and household necessities for their families. The women of Kanguka dream of having their own workshop where they can weave together, rain or shine. They also hope to increase their skills and customers so that weaving can become a sustainable career option for each member.
Antoinette Uwijuru, like most artisans, is also a subsistence farmer. Before joining Kanguka, Antoinette could not even provide basic necessities for her five children. Now, the money Antoinette earns from her weaving enables her to buy clothes, food, and soap for her family. She has invested in some chickens and a pig, and hopes one day to buy a cow- a key source of fertilizer and nutrition. Antoinette dreams of growing in her craft so that she can pay the way for all of her children to graduate from secondary school.
- 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