Meet Marceline Kabanyana, a Genocide survivor who hid and saved six children during the darkness which massacred more than 1,000,000 Tutsis, as it was reported.
The Story Team brings information and stories from the people of rural Rwanda to you. We hope that you will be challenged and inspired by what you see and read. These are real people who deserve to be heard, and who have given permission for their story to be shared. Thank you for reading!
Entries by StoryTeam
Today we’re celebrating all moms, sisters, daughters, friends, colleagues, leaders, and incredible artisan partners who make it all possible! Christine is a life-long weaver as well as a teacher to many. When she is not creating, Christine can be found farming, mothering her kids, and supporting the women of her cooperative through the ups and […]
Azizi Life’s new home will be welcoming, multi-purpose, and solar-powered!
This year at Azizi Life we are certainly grateful for incredible answers to prayer.
Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, is around the corner. Unfortunately, it can also be the most unsustainable time of the year. From the tree you purchase, to the food you eat, to the presents you give, they can all have a positive or negative impact. Small changes to our holiday celebrations can […]
On her November 4, 2021, show, Ellen DeGeneres was gifted a one-of-a-kind Gorilla Nose Print Basket by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund CEO. This basket was created by an expert weaver in partnership with Azizi Life!
As the weather grows colder, our homes grow warmer with heartier dishes and the holidays. Every piece curated by Azizi Life was made in community by artisans. Weavers and woodcarvers across Rwanda hand craft beautiful goods with a vision to lift their families out of poverty with their fair wages. Each is a reminder of how life-giving it is to share space and our homes with others.
Becka Bella Style Collection designer Rebecca Hart shares the inspiration behind the design. These beautifully hand-carved wooden tapers from sustainable, gorgeously grained jacaranda wood have a time-worn look that lends the perfect organic texture to your space. Their natural finish, wonderful patina, and elegant shape create a stylish touch on any table, kitchen shelf, sideboard, […]
“…the power of choosing joy despite difficulties is possible to those who pay attention.”
Story by Azizi Life Story Team Member Jean Claude Dusabe As baby Isimbi was being knit together in her mother’s womb, her mother, Xavera, was weaving sisal bowls. Isimbi grew inside Xavera, and Xavera wove on. Pandemic came, lockdown began and ended, and Xavera wove. Days before Isimbi arrived, Xavera was weaving. And days after […]
by Azizi Life intern Anna Dierks Transition your space from summer to fall with the Macy White Home Collection Cozy Eclectic mood board! These products come together to form a relaxed vibe with enough variation and accent pieces to remain interesting and fun. The Modern Neutral Woven Wall Hangings (products C, D, and E) and […]
Story by Azizi Life Story Team Member Jean Claude Dusabe Sylvere Maniraguha was born in 1985 in Southern Province, Muhanga District, Cyeza sector. He has a twin brother named Sylvain. Sylvere had the opportunity to go to school up to 6th grade. He is now married to Triphonie Uwamahoro and they have two children: a […]
By Azizi Life Story Team Member Angelique Nyiraneza Alice Muhayemariya was born in 1971 in Southern Province, Rwanda. She is a single mother of two sons, the first 23 years old and the second 21 years old. Alice didn’t have the chance to be raised by her biological parents. She found herself being raised by […]
Story by Azizi Life Team Member Sandrinne Meet Gorethie Mukeshimana. Gorethie is married with three children, and is the president of the Abihuje (People Who Have Come Together) Cooperative. They specialize in weaving earrings and sisal baskets. I had the privilege to talk with her in this difficult time. After hearing on the radio the […]
Alexie Uwingabire was born in 1987 in Nyamabuye sector. At a young age, her father left the family. From that day, Alexie was raised by her mother, a bowl weaver. It was not easy for them to meet their basic needs since they had no other source of income to supplement the little gained from […]
By Ange Nyiraneza, Azizi Life Team Member “There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” – Marie Jeanne Marie Jeanne was born in 1971 in the Southern Province of Rwanda. She is married to a farmer named Theogene Twagirimana, and they have three sons and two daughters, their eldest […]
by Guest Blogger, Author, and Azizi Life Experiences Guest Trillia Newbell This past [October] I joined five storytellers in Rwanda to meet the incredible men and women served by HOPE International and capture stories. The stories are wonderfully encouraging but their lives were a lesson to me. On Tuesday [of our trip], we drove out with another […]
Will you tell me your story? She nods, folds her hands in her lap, and stares off. “I left my village and went to Kigali to sell my baskets. That night the President’s plane went down.” The day was April 6th, 1994.
By guest blogger Loren Hamilton Ankara (On-car-uh). Kitenge (Ki-tang-eh). Dutch Wax. Wax Print. African Fabric. Familiar words to describe a large piece of cloth full of bright colors and patterns, commonly seen decorating women across sub-Saharan Africa. In Rwanda, the fabric is wrapped as a work apron or sewn into beautiful garments for celebrations. But where […]
By Felix NIZEYIMANA, Azizi Life Staff Writer Each year Azizi Life hosts an Artisan Council, where we gather representatives from all of our partnering artisan groups, including weavers, woodcarvers, seamstresses, beekeepers, and candle makers. The yearly meeting is held at the Azizi Life head office, but this year’s attendance warranted an event tent and we […]
By Claudine Tuyisenge, Azizi Life Staff Writer There’s always hope with God – even after a bitter life. Michael Iraguha was born in 1990 in the Southern Province of Rwanda. He is a young man, is happily married, and has one two-year-old son. He was raised in a happy home with his four siblings. This same […]
By Jean Pierre MBARUBUKEYE Photo Source: igihe.com Rwandans have celebrated the Fourth of July since 1994. It’s not Independence Day, as that is celebrated on July 1st and honors the country’s independence from Belgian colonial rule in 1962. In Rwanda, the Fourth of July is Liberation Day. Liberation Day is a national holiday celebrating the […]
Story by Claudine Tuyisenge “We are all able. I can’t adjust the wind, but I can adjust the sails to always reach my destination. Disability is not an obstacle to success.” Jean De Dieu Nsengiyumva (Jado) sits at a table proudly displaying his hand-carved wooden ornaments. A member of the Inganzo Cooperative based in Muhanga […]
Interview by Natalie Imanishimwe “My name is Francine Mukamabano. I was born in 1983. I am a potter. I live with my four sons and three of us are potters. I create different clay products including candle plates, candle pots and vases, oil diffusers, and piggy banks. I love everything I make but mostly I […]
By Zuberi Bihangamanywa After the death of her husband, Seraphine had to find a way to provide for herself and her five children. As a housewife, she had been busy caring for the children and running the household while her husband provided financially for the family. Apart from agricultural work, she had no work and […]
RWANDA It’s tax season in Rwanda and around the world, which means lots of paperwork in Rwanda and the US. Please pray we are able to report everything we need to accurately and clearly without any errors. This April marks 25 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi. Please pray for the nation during […]
By Jean Pierre Mbarubukeye One night in 1994, twenty-three-year-old Sperathe Uwiragiye found herself in the house of man that she barely knew, forced into a marriage that she never consented to. Just a few hours earlier, she and a friend had been walking home when Sperathe’s friend introduced her to the man that would become […]
Across the hills of Rwanda, groups of rural artisans are working to bring hope to their families through skillfully handcrafted goods. Azizi Life partners with over 30 independent groups- a total of over 500 artisan partners. Rising from the horrors of genocide, artisans from all backgrounds have joined together once again through their craft. Each artisan cooperative specializes in hand crafting products using specific techniques and raw materials. Azizi Life is honored to partner with these women and men, collaborating to connect makers, designers, and customers around the world.
We love serving your vision for beauty and meaning in the gifts you give, what you wear, and how you decorate. Azizi Life serves as a bridge, partnering with artisans and designers to offer high quality, ethically-sourced goods for life and gifting. Products are crafted by hand using local, natural, and renewable materials. Our modern and traditional collections include baskets, woven bowls, home décor, tabletop, woven jewelry, and bags. Azizi Life offers products to US customers from our warehouse in Spokane, Washington, as well as FOB sales directly from Rwanda.
Azizi Life is a fair trade organization which partners with Rwandan artisans to bring beautifully designed, hand crafted goods to the world. As a not-for-profit organization, Azizi Life is dedicated to the wellbeing of our artisan partners and their families. In addition to opening economic opportunity through fair trade, Azizi Life invests in a range of community impact projects. Our Rwandan-led team facilitates adult literacy classes and offers other practical resources for personal, spiritual, and economic growth.