at a glance
- Population – 300,000
- Size of District – 1,010 km2, or 390 miles2
- Main work – Agriculture (beans, peas, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, sorghum, bananas, millet, cabbage, tomatoes, fruit trees)
- Official District Website: www.nyaruguru.gov.rw
a closer look
Azizi Life’s Work in Nyaruguru District:
Nyaruguru is Rwanda’s southernmost district, bordered on the West by Nyungwe National Forest and to the South by the small nation of Burundi. Azizi Life staff travel down to Nyaruguru about once every six weeks to see the artisan groups located there. Many of the Nyaruguru artisans live more than an hour’s drive from the main road, making trade especially challenging for them. The hilly dirt roads of Nyaruguru can be tricky to navigate, especially in the rainy season, although the District has made great strides in the past year to widen and flatten many of these roads. As the roads curl around the mountains, down into the valleys, and up into the hills, the views are often stunning.
When it’s time for the Azizi Life team to visit an artisan association, the whole group gathers together with the products that they have made for our order. The craftspeople always welcome us warmly, and often there are several group members putting the finishing touches on their art as we check their fellow group members’ work for quality. The artisans receive a fair wage for their work, which Azizi Life pays right away, and then we discuss our next order, trying to choose just the right quantity that will enable to artisans to keep working for the six weeks until we meet again. Azizi Life staff always leave each group with a prayer, and look forward to our next journey into the beautiful hills of Nyaruguru.