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Support for Rwanda Women

Handmade African Baskets

The Weaving Hope Story

In 2018, burton + BURTON® partnered with Beacon Technologies to weave hope for children in Rwanda. Only about 13% of Rwandan children attend preschool and 50% have stunted growth due to malnutrition. The idea behind Weaving Hope was simple: fund new schools for Rwandan children with sales of beautiful handcrafted baskets made by local artisans in the small Rwandan village of Gitarama. 100% of the proceeds from these sales went directly to building two schools that now nourish the minds and bodies of children–weaving hope for their future.
This mission not only helped the children, but also offered opportunities for Rwandan women to earn a steady living and escape gender-based violence, inequality, and discrimination. These authentic, handmade African baskets arrived directly from a women’s cooperative in the village of Gitarama. Proceeds created meaningful jobs that provided for their families, moving them from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.
The first preschool opened in 2019 and has been a centerpiece for the families in the Nkuzuzu community. The second school was conceived as a Center for Early Childhood Educational Excellence that serves both as a preschool and a training center for the East African Christian College (EACC). The center allows college students to work in a student-teaching and training environment that produces effective preschool teachers upon graduation.
There is an increased need for qualified teachers to support the growth of preschool facilities in the Rwanda area, and we are so pleased that this center can both serve the children and foster educational growth in the village of Kabuga. Reverend Ethan Carlson, Director of the Rwanda Ministry Partners, said, “We estimate that over the next five years, the center will produce over 400 teachers and serve as a preschool for over 500 children. However, it’s bigger than that. These 400+ teachers will go out into Rwanda’s preschools to impact the lives of thousands of children every year.”
The preschool is dedicated to the families of Kabuga by burton + BURTON and Beacon Technologies. The school is also devoted in loving memory of both owners’ parents: Emma Lou and Maxie Hubbard (parents of Maxine H. Burton), Louise and Ellis Burton (parents of Robert Burton), Zona and Ken Dirks (parents of Mark Dirks), and Sharon and James Corl (parents of Tracy C. Dirks), all of whom valued education and family so much.



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Second School Complete!

Second School Complete!

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First School Complete!

First School Complete!

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Rwandan Children Having Fun with Balloons

Dedication Plaque for the First School

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Dedication Ceremony

Round #2 Being Woven

Our Team at Bumbogo Preschool

Maxine with Rene Kirwa (Bumbogo School)

Bumbogo Preschool (Prototype School)

Bumbogo Preschool Students

Bumbogo Singers

Maxine Saying Goodbye to the Children

Maxine, John Craig, and Rene (Nkuzuzu School)

Michael Burton and Tracy Dirks (Nkuzuzu School)

Maxine Observing Nkuzuzu Classroom

Nkuzuzu Children Enjoying Balloons

Boys Playing with Balloons Outside Nkuzuzu School

Teacher Helping Inflate Balloons (Nkuzuzu School)

Hello from Kibagabaga Preschool

Children Going Home After School

Too Cute!

More Cuteness in Kibabgabaga!

Basket Weaver in Gitarama

Beautiful Colors and Assortments of Baskets

Matriarch of Basket Weavers in Gitarama

One of the Many Women Weaving Our Baskets