About The Kibeho Embroideries Project
In 2013 the wife of the Rwandan High Commissioner to South Africa, Mrs Netty Butera, approached members of Soroptimist International Pretoria after a visit to the Mapula Embroidery Project in the Winterveld. Her vision was to start a similar project in Kibeho in Rwanda to assist the most vulnerable women by teaching skills to them enabling them to generate a small income as has been the case with the women from the Mapula Embroidery Trust over the past 28 years.
Background on Kibeho in the Southern region of RWANDA where the project is situated:
It is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to three young female teenagers in the remote area of Kibeho in 1981. In 1982, those who saw the visions reported gruesome sights, including rivers of blood and decapitated heads, which are regarded as a foreshowing of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The Roman Catholic Church officially recognised the apparitions in 2001 after scrutinising the results of two commissions; Since then, every year, thousands of pilgrims flock to the Kibeho Holy Land.
Women in Kibeho
and how this project can improve their lives.
Women who live in Kibeho, are most vulnerable and of the poorest of the poor. They live from subsistence farming (food gardens) and generate a small income by begging during pilgrimages to Kibeho. The income from the sale of the embroidery project will help them to generate an additional income and discourage the indignity of begging. By doing this, it will improve their self-esteem, empower them and create a small income for their daily living and educate their children.
The sustainability of the project.
For the sustainability and progress of the project after the training phase, Netty Butera will be the contact between the project coordinator, Martha, and the parish priest who will also be involved until the women can run the project themselves.