Introducing Salha Kaitesi- The Beauty Of Rwanda

 

Salha Kaitesi

Salha Kaitesi is the founder of Beauty of Rwanda an online enterprise working with basket weavers in her native Rwanda. Like the team here at Ethnic Supplies, Salha believes in empowering African women through business.

Our paths crossed a few months ago on Twitter and she agreed to be profiled for readers of this blog.

 

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. Who is Salha Kaitesi

I am a British Rwandan trying to make a difference in the lives of the women in Rwanda. Devoted mother. Brutally honest. I would like to think am a good friend to have. (I hate answering this question)

2. What is Beauty of Rwanda all about

Beauty of Rwanda is about empowering women in Rwanda through the selling of their handmade crafts. These women are the bread winners of their individual families and weaving is the only means of earning a livelihood for them and their children. These women are hard working and an inspiration to us all.

3. When did you get started and why

The idea came into place in 2009 but the Beauty of Rwanda website where we sell the crafts from was launched in 2010. I wanted to help the women in Rwanda. There is so much that can be done for Rwanda, one has to just look deeper in order to find their calling. This is mine. I hope to make a difference in the lives of these women.

4. Where are you now and where are you headed to

We are still in the early stages of the business having launched just 9 months ago. There is still a lot to be done before we can sit back and watch the company standing on its own two feet. I am enjoying the journey though at times its difficult especially when things don’t go according to plan.

5. I understand that you work with women in Rwanda- please tell us about that

The crafts we sell from our website/online shop are hand woven by women in Rwanda. These women survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide and like i mentioned earlier, weaving is the only source of income. Beauty of Rwanda finds a market for their beautiful crafts. Some of the women are HIV positive having been raped during the mentioned genocide. They need all the support we can give them. All they want is their dignity back.

6. What would you say are your greatest achievements so far

Having the courage to go through with the plan of setting up Beauty of Rwanda.

7. What are your challenges and how do you address these

One of the biggest challenges is the logistics. It does take time and is expensive.

8. Does technology play a role in your business and if so how?

Are you kidding me?… We are all about technology. We wouldnt be able to do our job without it. We are on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Youtube and almost launching on Google+. Technology is it!

9. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps

If you feel like the chips are all in place, even though there will always be doubts, just go for it – Better to try and fail than to never try at all.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Business fights poverty in South Sudan

Cassava is an important food crop in the Repub...

Cassava plant Image via Wikipedia

South Sudan is the newly formed country in Africa and has been recognised by the UN and the international community unlike Somaliland . But the question on everyone’s lips is WHAT NEXT FOR SOUTH SUDAN?  this 25 minute video clip from the Broadcaster Aljzeera articulates the challenges and in part opportunities that lay ahead fro this newly formed nation.

One way that South Sudan will rebuild itself will be via inward investment  and some businesses have been quick off the mark and headed down to South Sudan to seize those new opportunities.

With that out of the way this post is part of the #30dayblog challenge and for this task I am looking at someone else’s post and giving it my own slant.  The post I have selected was posted on Business Fights Poverty

Business investment and expertise can play a significant part in the future of South Sudan

I applaud SABMILLER‘s innovation by way of coming up with products that mean local people can be included in their business strategy as suppliers. By so doing this makes them a responsible and inclusive business. But I have one major concern here

FOOD SECURITY!

and if you follow/read  this blog regularly you will note that this is a subject that is close to my heart and one that I keep returning to time and time again. In my last post I addressed the question- what is the role of NGO’s in the distribution of food.

In South Sudan SABMILLER  have taken a food crop Cassava and used it to come up with a new product (a brand of beer) in Uganda they used sorghum for the same purpose. Whilst this brings a new products  to which value has been added at source, creates new jobs and includes local farmers in the supply chain both Cassava and Sorghum are food crops.

Questions that spring to mind

  1. this region is susceptible to food shortages- should food crops be diverted to other uses such as beer or even bio fuels?
  2. What is being done about food security?

 

I note from the article that SABMILLER has teamed up with FARM AFRICA and NGO that works with farmers in this part of Africa. Unfortunately the article does not tell us much about this relationship especially as it affects food security.  OK,  one might argue that the article was not about food security in South Sudan but in my mind this is probably going to be one of the greatest challenges this new country faces

So over to you folk, have you got a view on any of the issues raised here? If so please do leave me a comment if not please consider sharing this post with someone who might have a view

 

 

Spreading the word

The X Factor (UK)

Image via Wikipedia

Hmmm, it has been  way too quiet here for several reasons- but hopefully that will not happen again.  I will promptly pick up where I left off- NIKKI P’s  30 Day Blogging challenge, here is the last post

 

Today’s challenge is about spreading the word- promoting someone else’s blog specifically one of a fellow participant in the 30 day blogging challenge

 

I have selected 2 people to promote

Pippa Haines a part time web designer  I like this post Have you got The X-Factor about Cheryl Cole’s sacking from The X-Factor, I have never sat through an entire episode/series of the The X-Factor so what I know about the show can be written on the back of a stamp. But Pippa gives sound advice and tips on where and how to find inspiration for blog posts and why this matters for a small business.

The other reason by reading Pippa’s post made me revisit a post here about Cheryl Cole’s malaria episode- Will things improve for the poor girl?

Amanda Barber makes soap and other bathroom goodies- her blog post how to make Bath Bombs is full of tips on how to make your own soap but also on the necessary EU regulations that might affect you. I loved this post and Amanda’s blog generally because I love all things handmade and the idea of self sustaining is really appealing

This is a short post to enable you to go an explore both Pippa and Amanda’s blogs- but please do come back and share what your thoughts here

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta