Entries by Emma Lawson

Choosing Hope: How Rwandans Keep Moving Toward a Brighter Tomorrow

This year marks the 26th anniversary of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, an organized killing spree that left more than one million people dead. One hundred days of murder began on April 6 1994 after the Rwandan president, Juvénal Habyarimana, and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira, died when their plane was shot down […]

8 Ways to Support Artisans without Spending a Dime

COVID-19 is causing massive disruption to the lives of our artisan partners in Rwanda as well as just about everyone you know. We are being told to stay at home and batten down the hatches. How can we reach out and show love to those near and far? Thankfully, there are plenty of ways! Read […]

A Snapshot of COVID-19 in Rwanda

Edited April 15, 2020 Has the world ever felt so small? With the COVID-19 crisis escalating, it is deeply affecting all people around the world, including our artisan partners in Rwanda. Rwanda has not been immune to threats to public health, the economy, and jobs. In fact, Rwanda is still reeling from months of heavy […]

‘Live Fair, One Product At A Time’: Celebrating World Fair Trade Day

As a social enterprise founded on the principle of fair trade, Azizi Life joins hundreds of organizations across the globe in celebrating the rights of small producers to access fair prices in a globally accessible market. Though the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) itself came into existence 15 years earlier, World Fair Trade Day was […]

Why We Must Remember Our Shared Humanity

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash Remembrance: a sacred act which has the power to unite us, remind us of who are and what we are all capable of, and crystallize a shared vision of who we want to be. This April marks twenty-five years since the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The nation […]

International Women’s Day 2019: Celebrating Rwandan Women

This International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the wonderful women of Azizi Life, Beeutiful Creations, and our artisan partners! First, we’ll take a brief look at where the roots of this day began, before considering where Rwanda is today in terms of gender equality. New York, March 1908: The city serves as a rallying point […]

Prayer Update – January 2019

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old is gone, the new is here!’ – 2 Corinthians 5:17 Azizi Life US   We praise God that Emily Newlin is beginning her work with Azizi Life this month, towards our grand goal of multiplying artisan income 10x by 2022!   Please […]

Faith and Social Enterprise – A Good Combination?

“Jesus is permanent peace. Do you have peace?” asked Jean Nepomuscene (Nepo) of the throng of artisans sitting around him in a square formation. A hearty “yego” (yes) rippled through the air as Nepo, a tall, solid man with a love of the Bible, leant forward in his chair, peering out from underneath his red […]

Prayer Update, December 2018

AZIZI LIFE US Praise God for a wonderful Giving Tuesday event where we raised over $18,000 for our Multiply Project. Please pray also that we qualify for the facebook matching grant that could double our fundraising effort to $36,000. We are feeling even stronger in our goal to increase artisan income 10x by the end […]

Inspiring Staff Stories: Natalie Nenly, Manager of Beeutiful Creations

Natalie Nenly had been working as an Assistant at Beeutiful Creations, a partner of Azizi Life, for just over a year. Earlier this month, she was promoted to the position of Manager, and we’re delighted to share her story with you here:   What is your role at Beeutiful Creations? My role is to ensure […]

Saving for a Better Future

They weave baskets from sisal fibre in striking patterns; they weave earrings with all the vibrant colours of Rwandan life; they host visitors for ‘A Day in the Life of an Artisan’ Experience Days. Now, the ladies of the Abumurava cooperative are saving for a better future. Urwego Opportunity Bank recently delivered financial literacy training […]

Prayer Update – October 2018

‘You crown the year with a beautiful harvest’ – Psalm 65:11   We thank God for a successful and joyful 10-year anniversary celebration party! Hundreds of artisans and Azizi supporters came to celebrate with us with dancing, music, food, speeches and a lovely cake! Thank you for supporting us through prayer, because we wouldn’t be […]

Inspiring Staff Stories: Tom MacGregor, Co-Founder

What brought you to Rwanda? My desire to work in Africa began the year before I went to university. I had joined Mercy Ships (a Christian medical relief organisation) as a deckhand while doing a discipleship training course. In that time, I visited a few countries in Africa, including Togo. I fell in love with […]

Prayer Update September 2018

‘Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.’  Psalm 150:1-6   RWANDA […]

Inspiring Staff Stories: Beatha

“Cake!” Beatha beams over a cup of tea. I had just asked her what her favourite food to cook for the Azizi Life team is. “I want everyone to eat with joy when I cook for them.” Aside from cakes for special occasions, which, unsurprisingly, always go down a treat with everyone, Beatha can usually […]

Prayer Update August 2018

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” – 2 Corinthians 4:15   RWANDA Rift Valley Fever is spreading like wildfire among cattle in rural Rwanda. This is a major problem for cattle owners who rely […]

Artisan Focus: Francine Mukamabano, Potter

“When my husband, Eric, passed away two years ago, I used the skills that he taught me to create new products.” Francine cradled a smooth pottery piggy bank, complete with kitenge fabric ears and tail. Hers are the hands that create and shape a future for her and her four boys, as she compacts, moulds, […]

Prayer Update July 2018

‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord will be with you wherever you go’ – Joshua 1:9 RWANDA We are thankful for dry season sunshine, and the arrival of tourists in Rwanda over the next couple of months. Tourism makes a huge contribution to the national and local economy, and Rwanda […]

Arts and Crafts at the Azizi Life Studio

It’s been a few months since the opening of the Azizi Life Studio in Kigali. There’s been a lot of art, lots of craft, and apparently, lots of delicious food to boot! We caught up with Chantal, the manager of the Studio, to find out how it’s been going. What is the vision for the […]

Prayer Team Update June 2018

‘You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word’ Psalm 119:114   RWANDA Thankfully, it seems that dry season is finally here.  Please pray for all affected by the devastating rains that have ravaged the country over the past few months.  It is estimated by the Ministry of Disaster Management and […]

Prayer Update – May 2018

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will rise up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31 RWANDA The past few weeks have seen huge amounts of rainfall across the nation, and hundreds of people have been […]

Carving out a better future: Inganzo Woodcarving Cooperative

  “I was 16 years old when I had my lower-leg blown apart by a mine.” Aimable pulls up his trouser leg to reveal his prosthetic limb and tells me about the day that changed his life. His task was to keep watch over some cows as they grazed in the hills. He followed them […]

Prayer Team Update April 2018

‘He is not here, for He is risen, just as he said’- Matthew 28:6 RWANDA April marks a time of national mourning and remembrance of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.  It’s a stark reminder of the pain of the past, but it also throws into sharp relief what Rwanda is today – a beautiful, safe, and […]

Inspiring Staff Stories: Inspiring Women

For someone whose job title is ‘Artisan Expert’, the lady sat in front of me on a mat with her loom was remarkably reserved, unassuming and humble.  Meet Eugenie (pronounced Yoo-ja-nee).  When she’s not making music out of objects lying around the place, she can usually be found developing, communicating and training Azizi Life artisan […]

Prayer Update March 2018

  AZIZI LIFE IMPACT PROJECTS  Praise God for 158 students registered on the Adult Literacy Program.   Please pray for a couple of our teachers (Beatrice & Claudette) who are ill.  Pray that they would make a full recovery so that they can help the students get the most out of their course.   Please pray […]

Celebrating Beauty and Craftsmanship

Last week saw the official opening of Design:Rwanda, an exciting and highly anticipated new retail location in Kigali.  Beeutiful Creations, a social enterprise incubated by Azizi Life’s NGO, has partnered with Abraham Konga Collections and Sarah Day Designs to showcase high-quality, locally-made products and designs. Rwanda is a truly remarkable, rapidly developing country brimming with […]

Prayer Update – February 2018

‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life’ – Proverbs 13:12   RWANDA Please pray for the ongoing need among some of our artisans, and many in Rwanda, who are struggling to afford their children’s school fees.   UBI (Azizi Life Impact Projects): Students registration has begun on […]