Forty years ago in a rural Rwandan village, Belgian nuns taught three and hundred fifty women embroidery. This unlikely artisan cooperative became known across Europe for their intricate embroidery work, but stopped producing during the 1994 Genocide when the nuns fled.
In 2011, a chance family connection brought two French sisters to the village who were taken with this captivating history. They relaunched the cooperative with twenty-two women, some from the original team, and introduced the finest European and African materials to their work. Each piece, like this Elephant Pouch, takes from three days to six weeks to complete. The cooperative has now grown to thirty-five female artisans who earn more than many men in the village.