Gahaya Links, in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation’s Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, has provided 40,000 vulnerable families in their artisan network with face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus while enabling them to safely engage in income-generating activity.
Development Diaries gathered that the face masks were produced by 1,406 tailors, mostly women, providing economic opportunity to the artisan community which has been severely affected by the lockdown measures imposed mid-March in the country.
It was learnt that, through the partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, Gahaya Links has worked with its vast network of women cooperatives to protect its members against the contagion.
The women, who come with an average of six family members, received two masks for each member of their households.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gahaya Links, Joy Ndungutse, said, ‘We believe that women are the heart of the home and the backbone of their community. When a woman’s life is empowered, so are the lives of the people around her. We are thankful for the partnership with the Mastercard Foundation which has enabled us to protect 240,000 women and their families while providing an opportunity for over 1,400 artisans to go back to work’.
The Rwanda Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation, Rica Rwigamba, said, ‘Many people and sectors in our societies have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the Mastercard Foundation Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, we are partnering with organisations like Gahaya Links to develop the right response to enable economies to recover quickly and to rebuild for the future’.
Gahaya Links, it is understood, has been empowering women artisan communities in Rwanda over the last 20 years through enterprise design of home decor, jewellery, and textile collections inspired by the rich heritage of Rwandan artisanship.
Source: Mastercard Foundation
Photo source: Prachatai