Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hope In Rwanda

This fall, we welcomed Dr. Nicolas Hitimana, Founding Director of Ikirezi, a farming co-operative in Rwanda that serves genocide widows and orphans, to Nashville. Seven women from Thistle Farms met Nicholas in 2008 on our trip to Rwanda. It was then that we began a partnership to blend Ikirezi’s geranium essential oils with a Thistle Farms recipe to make a natural bug repellant

Nicholas came and spoke to us about the value chain in this world, and how it is the producers that are usually at the bottom of that chain. He said that by creating social enterprises and successful partnerships, we move the producers directly to the consumer and increase their place on that value chain. Our partnership with the farmers of Ikirezi is encouraging to them because they know their stories are being heard in the world. Nicholas closed by saying the most valuable gift he has been given is hearing widows and orphans from the 1994 genocide speak about hope and forgiveness. 

One of the Thistle Farms' employees said, "Having Nicholas and the aroma of African geranium finally land on our soil after 5 months of waiting made me realize the sacredness of this cooperative."

We were all inspired by Nicholas’ grace and passion to work towards reconciliation and freedom for women who have suffered so much. 

To hear Nicholas' sermon, click HERE.
To learn more about Ikirezi Natural Products, click HERE.
To order Thistle Farms Geranium Spray, click HERE.

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