Friday, July 27, 2012

Macy's Rwanda Path to Peace: Baskets that Change Lives {Review}

While typically the holiday season is thought of as the popular time for reflection and giving, Macy's has made it simple to combine a beautiful purchase with an amazingly good cause all year long. After all, shopping is shopping, but having the ability to support hardworking women turn a broken past into a positive future is something that I want to take part in.

Which is why I adore the Rwanda Path to Peace campaign and the sale of gorgeous handmade baskets that help support Rwandan women and their families.

Rwanda Path to Peace logo

Nearly everyone knows that Rwanda was torn apart by a brutal and swift genocide in 1994 where, in roughly 100 days, close to one million Rwandan citizens were murdered and the population of the small African nation was left nearly 70% women.

Faced with an uncertain future, these women turned to their past and reclaimed their unique heritage of weaving. Drawing strength from this common history and ancient art form, brave women from both sides of the conflict began working together to rebuild their communities and their lives.

In 2005, Macy's partnered to form the Rwanda Path to Peace project and brought every Path to Peace basket the weavers could produce to and Macy's flagship Herald Square store. This relatively small collection quickly sold out online and gained national media attention, while the sale of the baskets provided real, sustainable income to rural women who had never before earned money in their lives.

Rwanda Path to Peace baskets

Today, the Path to Peace project is larger than ever, employing thousands of weavers and impacting tens of thousands of lives as it puts the power of opportunity into the hands of the women of Rwanda.

By providing not only a sustainable income but the chance to take an active role in the shaping of their future, this project has helped to revitalize the economy and with it, the spirit and pride of the Rwandan people.

handmade basket

The Fair Winds Trading Rwanda Basket that I received is stunning and I have found myself admiring it from all angles multiple times. I love the way that the green, turquoise and black palette is eye-catching yet calming and the way that each small detail has been taken into account.

Made of naturally dyed sisal coil-sewn over bundled sweetgrass, these baskets come with a certificate of authenticity so that there is no doubt that they are a symbol of strength and courage among the Rwandan women who weave them.

certificate of authenticity

I am thrilled to be able to use this basket as a beautiful centerpiece on our table, a fruit bowl in our kitchen, or, due to the sturdy loop right on the back, as a great piece of wall art.

basket wall hanging

Whether given as a gift or kept for yourself, a Rwanda Path to Peace basket is an incredible way to support the healing journey that the women of Rwanda are going through.

These women have seen their neighbors and their families destroyed by genocide and ethnic cleansing, leaving many of them broken and hopeless, lost in a country where women are considered second-rate citizens because of their gender. Although the genocide was over a decade ago, the recovery from a tragedy of this magnitude is a constant struggle.

Macy's partnership in this project not only brings attention to this important situation, but has restored hope and love among Rwandan communities and families with the sale of their baskets. The lives of more than 18,000 children have been improved in a multitude of ways, as the money has provided access to eduction, health care, shoes and clothing, nutritional needs, and much more.

Rwanda Path to Peace basket

Typically retailing for $50, Rwanda Path to Peace baskets are currently on sale for $39.99. Each one is a unique work of art that will provide beauty, function and the knowledge that you have helped make a difference in rebuilding a nation in need.

Find out more and make a purchase at

(Other than the Rwanda Path to Peace basket I was provided by Macy's, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this project and this product.)


Betty Roberts said...

I love this what a wonderful cause and they are beautiful my mom and grandmother would love these!

Jessica Allen said...

Wow! These Are Beautiful! Love The Color Combo!

gaia said...

Thanks! I just bought 3 as gifts.

kelly1980777 said...

these are so pretty

April Crisafulli said...

Those baskets are gorgeous!!!

Unknown said...

My mother would just love these baskets, and for a wonderful cause!

Anissa said...

What a lovely gift idea!

freddie said...

What beautiful baskets and these would make wonderful gifts for family and friends.

Nikki said...

I grew up with these baskets -- but they came from Sardenia, Italy -- and I can testify to the quality of these! As mentioned, I was first exposed to these in a different country and under different circumstances, but it does give me a pang of nostalgia to see these and know that I can support a good cause and bring back some memories :)