Our ladies in Rwanda have been unable to dye any Umva scarves and wraps since the pandemic began. We can't get fabric to them due to travel restrictions and risks. Luckily we had a decent amount of inventory before the pandemic hit, but our primary retail outlets were also shut down due to COVID: the safari lodges in Rwanda had no guests and our big textile show in upstate New York was cancelled last year. Our board made the decision to continue providing income to the ladies nonetheless as the pandemic made their financial challenges even greater.
The good news is that the NY textile show was held this October. Although it was scaled back considerably, our team put together a beautiful booth with our remaining inventory and did far better than we had anticipated. A bright spot indeed!
On the education front we have continued to see an increase in school fees due to COVID-related expenses. We also have three new children in school this fall. With education for school age children being core to our mission, we made the decision to continue funding beyond our budgeted levels to keep them going.
We could have done NONE of this for our families if it weren't for your faith in our mission and your generous support of these remarkable people.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, and those of our families.
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