In 2011, during a stay in Rutongo, Veronique and Pascale went on a quest to find the women who used to work with the Belgian nuns and realized that many of the former embroiderers still lived in the village, occasionally using their skills when they could find a customer.
Touched by their stories and realizing the immense potential of these women still living in precarious conditions, Veronique and Pascale decided to join their efforts to help the embroiderers realize their dreams: get a second chance and reopen the workshop in their village to develop a sustainable activity based on their embroidery skills.
In January 2012, Véronique and Pascale encouraged 22 embroiderers to get together and register a new cooperative, the CORUM.
Soon after, Véronique, Pascale and Solange created the brand name “IBABA Rwanda” for all articles produced in the new cooperative.
In 2013, Véronique, Solange and Tessa registered in France an association called “IBABA DEVELOPPEMENT”, to support the production of the cooperative and to set up a new embroidery training center for young women in the community of Rutongo.
IBABA Rwanda: our commitment
The IBABA project is all about a family and a cooperative of women’s dream to promote and support initiative and economic development for the empowerment of rural women in Rwanda.
Our objective is to build a model of social enterprise based on the existing exceptional skills of the embroiderers.
We work together with women of the CORUM cooperative to restore their economic autonomy in the village of Rutongo and allow the transfer of their know-how to younger generations in the community.