Spend an afternoon with members of the Twiyubake Leather Making Cooperative in Kigali. As part of Hands of Mothers, Twiyubake provides vocational training and income generation for HIV positive men and women. The cooperative's outcomes include improved nutrition, better access to health insurance, and an increase in school fee payment for their children.
During the activity, you'll work with Twiyubake Coop members crafting your own pair of leather sandals, which can include colorful African beadwork.
"Over 200 women and young adults have participated in our development programs and an estimated 750 family members have benefitted. They are enjoying improved nutrition and are able to purchase health insurance as well as pay school fees for their children - keys to breaking the cycle of disease and poverty."
Twiyubake Leather Sandal Cooperative - organized by Hands of Mothers (Manos de Madres) - is a cohort of incredible young people who did not receive a chance for a proper education, and all living with HIV. Many are the head of their households, struggling to provide for their families. Twiyubake provides an opportunity to grow together as a community, learn new skills, and connect with like-minded individuals who all want a chance to create a better future for themselves and for their families.
The cooperatives goals are to improve the quality of their product and develop innovative ideas in order to get a substantial amount of customers. As a result, this will give members confidence in their job skills, help them to access their health care, and provide income to support themselves and their families.
Education is a major component of the Hands of Mother's development efforts. Most of the women and young adults with whom we work have had little or no education – a legacy of the genocide, poverty and poor health. Their education initiative's focus is on results. Working one-on-one or in small groups, participants learn to read, write and do basic math - the fundamental tools necessary to manage money. Hands of Mothers also funds training in computer literacy and English language classes.