Umva means “listen”
in Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda
Rwanda-one4one is working with families in Rwanda, bringing empowerment through entrepreneurship opportunities and education aid to the children.
Due to male losses from the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi, the elder women have few ways to earn income and poverty is the way of life for many.
Through Rwanda-one4one, the Umva project began in 2015. Umva (pronounced oom-vah) taps into the creativity of a small group of women open to learning a handcraft and eager to earn a living. The women have become skilled in the art of naturally dyeing textiles, and they use their knowledge of the indigenous plants they gather from the hillsides. The exquisite colors and patterns on cloth that they dye by hand become ‘art to wear’ in the form of gorgeous one-of-a-kind scarves and wraps.
Umva textiles are being purchased around the world and are recognized for their beauty. Through the sale of each fair-trade item an income – and some economic stability — returns to the women.
When you purchase an Umva textile you are providing Rwanda-one4one’s families work, pride, hope and a brighter future.
Umva retail partners
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Rwanda
La Locanda, Musanze, Rwanda http://www.lalocandarwanda.com
Harrisville Designs, Harrisville, NH https://harrisville.com/
Soul Emporium, Keene, NH https://soulemporium.net/
Kind Words from Umva Customers
I love mine SO much!!! The fabric, the pattern, the colors, and mostly the provenance are all beautiful and inspiring. I unconditionally recommend these as gifts for that person who deserves something truly special. ~ Jennie
I purchased 3 wool shawls for gifts and am having a hard time parting with them. They are made of a fine, soft, springy wool with such a light hand. The leaf print creates a very subtle pattern. I was struck by the colors, such deep earth colors. So lovely. Their work is beautiful, and it is making a profound difference in the lives of these Rwandan women.
When I unfurled my Umva wrap, I gasped. The colors are even more beautiful and vibrant than the pictures portray. I love wearing it, and I’ve draped it in loops over a plain linen dress for a fancy dinner out and tossed it over my shoulders on a chilly evening as I run out to the grocery store. This gorgeous piece will be a central part of my ethical elegance wardrobe project for years to come!
My Umva wrap is a thing of beauty. Soft, luxurious wool that I can melt into. Every time I look at it I marvel at the care and crafts-womanship that went into it’s creation. It is all the more special to me because I know that by my purchase a family is creating an income they would otherwise not have. Umva is more than products, it’s a story, about Rwanda and about a family of women and I feel it’s important to share. So important that I bought another as a gift. I hope you will too.
My beautiful wrap arrived in the mail and I love it so much! The colors are so rich and it looks wonderful on me! I took it to my class to show all of my friends today and it was met with many, many compliments. Murakoze cyaneee, UMVA!
I just received a gold/gray (w/rust/green) and indigo ~ colors that will span the seasons for me ~ just beautiful