Entries by StoryTeam

Celebrating International Women’s Day – Meet Christine

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 […]

We Are Grateful!

This year at Azizi Life we are certainly grateful for incredible answers to prayer.

Azizi Life Neutral + Natural Holiday Decor: Your Sustainable Christmas

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 […]

5 Fabulous Fair Trade Pieces for Fall Entertaining

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.

The Light of Inspiration: NEW Beacon of Light Candlesticks

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, […]

Weaving a Beautiful Future: Xavera Abayisenga

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 […]

Cozy Eclectic: A Macy White Home Collection Design

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 […]

A Man With Purpose: Artisan Sylvere Maniraguha’s Story

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 […]

Weaving New Life: Artisan Alice Muhayemariya’s Story

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 […]

Belief in the Time of Coronavirus

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 […]

A Mother’s Touch: Artisan Alexie Uwingabire’s Story

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 […]

Weaving for my Future: Artisan Marie Jeanne’s Story

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 […]

A Fresh Look at Proverbs 31: A Day with the Women of Abumurvava

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 […]

Ankara: Beloved African Design

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 […]

Reflection and Excitement: The 2019 Azizi Life Artisan Council

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 […]

Visible Scars and Visible Blessings: Artisan Michael’s Story

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 […]

The Fourth of July in Rwanda: Liberated To Shape Our Future

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 […]

Reaching Your Destination: Artisan Jean De Dieu’s Story

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 […]

Clay in the Potter’s Hand: Artisan Francine’s Story

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 […]

A Widow’s Ambition: Artisan Seraphine’s Story

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 […]

Prayer Update – April 2019

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 […]