Business

Weaving for peace and profit

Updated 9:48 AM ET, Tue June 19, 2012
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Gahaya Links is a Rwandan handicraft company with over 4,500 employees in more than 40 cooperatives across the country. CNN
Gahaya Links co-founder Janet Nkubana is a champion for women in Rwanda. Her company has transformed women who were once enemies from warring tribes into business partners. CNN
Rwandan women have been making baskets for centuries, using them as containers to carry food and transport goods or as decorations during weddings and baby christenings. CNN
Gahaya Links' baskets have been coined "peace baskets," an embodiment of reconciliation and healing in a country torn by conflict. CNN
Under the "Africa Growth and Opportunity Act," Gahaya Links sells its handicrafts in American department stores such as Macy's, Kate Spade, Anthropologie and Same Sky. CNN
The company has helped to break the cycle of poverty for thousands of rural families, by turning a traditional handicraft into a profit-making venture. CNN
"Once you earn an income," says Nkubana, "you are economically empowered. You are given a voice, you can argue your values, you can argue your point, you can argue your rights." CNN