Ever since sitting Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term despite it being unconstitutional, there has a been mass exodus of Burundians into the hills and surrounding countries due to the country’s infighting. Today a countrywide election took place even though the youthful opposition vehemently protested against a presidential election. Explosions, gun fire and deaths have plagued the landlocked country.
Even through these contentious times, artisans from All Across Africa have continued to make wares in order to sustain their livelihoods. “We faced the choice between giving up and abandoning a large team and hundreds of artisans and their families or to soldier on,” said Manuela Kuehr, All Across Africa Burundi country director. “The choice is not easy, especially since we do not know what the security
situation looks like until we wake up every morning and there is a constant danger of “something happening”. May this be a grenade attack or fighting.”
All Across Africa’s weavers, with the help of the United Nations Development Program, have pleaded to continue working even amid the political tension and violence. They have created bracelets that say “handwoven with love”. These bracelets are literally sustaining households with income. A set of three costs $26.