Shaping Communities Through Art

23 July 2023
sangwa cc

A Visit to Reseau Culturel Sangwa

The URI Global Council and Staff face-to-face engagement recently held in Rwanda was a time to physically meet and strengthen our commitment, and energy, share and receive inspiration and hospitality.

During this gathering, the Global Council and staff visited and engaged with Reseau Culturel SANGWA, a cooperation circle in Rwanda.

URI Global Council and Staff during a visit to Reseau culturel Sangwa

 Sangwa's vision and purpose are to build peace in a way that is sustainable over many years; to empower women to become self-reliant; to work towards reconciliation; and to advocate for the establishment of human rights within communities; a cohesive society where peace, gender, equality, culture, and arts visibly promoted and upheld

One of their key focus areas is equipping women and young people with sexual and reproductive health, human rights, and law.

In addition, Sangwa is passionate and implementing initiatives to empower women and young people with skills in arts and crafts making intended to equip them with hands-on skills that can be a source of economic livelihood.

Sangwa Cooperation Circle exhibited some of the art and crafts products made by young people and women

Seeing the strides made by Sangwa women who have come together irrespective of their cultural and religious affiliations was inspiring.

Together we listened and appreciated the stories shared by young people who have been able to come out of a dark past of the effects of the genocide and turned into visionary leaders in their communities and among their peers. We were thrilled to learn about their big plans for self-advancement in both their career and lifestyles.

"...our mothers here have mentored us into responsible young people. The family we have here anchored our hopes to contribute to our country and the world at large, a sharing of one of the young people. Some of us don't know of any other family but only our mothers at Sangwa", a sharing by one of the beneficiaries.

Seeing young people very passionate with ideas to help in the rebuilding of Rwanda in areas like environmental conservation, creating safe spaces for women to advocate for their rights and seek legal redress among others clearly shows the amount of work done by their mentors-the mothers of Sangwa.

The handcrafts tell a beautiful story of a people selling the brand of Rwanda and a society desirous of healing and peace and its no wonder that each member of the URI team made sure they take a memory of this with them back to their home countries as a reminder that peace by and for the people is possible.


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