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Hand Made organic Peruvian Dolls

Ruminawi

Ruminawi

Quchu

Quchu

Runakay

Runakay

 

Hello we are Quchu, Runakay and Rumiñawi and we come from Peru. We would like to share with you how we are made.

First we start life in the Juanjui organic cotton fields of Peru where great care is taken preparing the fields for the seeds that will grow our cotton.

After 6 weeks or so the cotton is ready to be picked by hand,

 

The cotton is then taken to San Antonio where it is spun by hand using a Pushka once this has been completed the yarn is then spun again by hand.

The yarn then has to be dyed and because we are Organic they use only plant dyes. Many different types of Peruvian plants are used like Nogal ( A walnut)

The yarns are then given a bath in the natural dyes which gives them our lovely colours.

But before they can be used to make us they have to be washed again and then dried natural in the sunshine and warm winds of Peru.

The yarn is now ready to make us. We are just a small part of the Aslli family and our manufacture helps to support many families in Peru.

My name RUNAKAY comes from the Quechua dialect, and means HUMAN NATURE and along with my friends I am available from the store

Runakay

So we are made from all organic products and are safe for children of all ages. Here are our ingredients.

Yarns, very soft to the tact.

Made with organic cotton yarns.

Naturally dyed or IMO – GOTS certified dyestuffs of Huntsman – Switzerland.

Hand knitted by people in disadvantage.

Fair wages and good working conditions, aligned with the fair trade code.

Organic cotton with polyester stuffing.

Details embroidered with the same yarn.

Non toxic toys.

Anti-allergic.

Lasting toys.

Easy to wash and dry.

Suitable from birth.

Weight 80 g.

Height 30 cm. / 11.80 inch

Width 20 cm. / 7.87 inch

Black Loose Tea Leaves Not Just for Drinking

Rwanda Tea Plantations

Rwanda Tea Growers Region

Build Rwanda offers a wonderful selection of Rwandan Tea grown on the Pfunda estate in the volcanic region of Rwanda.

Where the tea is grown

Where the tea is grown

 

But is tea just for drinking? NO check out the recipe for Smoked Duck

 

Tea smoked duck NO WAY!

Here is a recipe we found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/

Sugar-tea smoked duck breast

For the marinade

  • ½ tsp. coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp. white peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 225g/8oz golden caster sugar
  • 550g/1lb 3oz coarse sea salt
  • 25g/1oz fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest

For the duck

  • 4 Barbary duck breast fillets (approximately 200g/7oz each)
  • 225g/8oz golden caster sugar
  • 50g/2oz cup loose Rwandan Black tea
  • 3 star anise, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. groundnut oil
  • a knob of butter

 

Preparation method

  1. To marinate the duck: finely grind the coriander seeds, peppercorns and cloves in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, then stir together with the sugar, salt, parsley and zest in a large bowl.
  2. Score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife. Bury the duck breasts in the salt mixture and chill, covered, for 30 minutes. Rinse the duck breasts lightly and dry well with kitchen roll. 
  3. To smoke the duck: if you don’t own a proper smoker, line the inside of a large turkey roasting pan with foil and spread with loose tea and top with sugar, and star anise. Place a foil-covered rack (cooling racks work well) inside the roaster. Put the roasting pan on top of the stove, centred on one burner. Place the duck breasts on the rack. Heat the pan, uncovered, over a moderate heat until the sugar-tea mixture begins to smoulder, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and smoke the duck for 10 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the heat. 
  4. To cook the duck: preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Warm an oven proof frying pan with cooking oil over a medium heat. Fry the breasts, skin side down, for 8-10 minutes. Pour away any excess fat from the pan and add a knob of butter. Turn the breasts over and place in the oven to finish cooking for a further 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts and desired doneness. 
  5. Remove from the oven, baste with butter in pan, transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

 

Black Tea Smoked Duck

Black Tea Smoked Duck

A NEW DIRECTION

Build Rwanda was established in April 2012 as a social enterprise and now that it is 17 months old and self-sufficient is it time to expand?

We started with just Rwandan Arts and crafts and have developed over those 17 months into a business that supports cooperatives in a variety of countries from Peru to Bangladesh and we feel it is time to start supporting more UK based companies. We have already started this by stocking Bim’s Kitchen African inspired sauces, Filberts Fine Foods, Wee Fudge Company, Roasterb Coffee but to mention a few.

We are currently in talks with several other UK based producers and hope to have some new and exciting products to offer our customers.

 

Build Rwanda continues to support educational projects with profits from the business and we are proud to be part of Faith and Hope school and Fruits of Hope Academy. One of our major plans is to offer a volunteer experience for those who wish to travel to Rwanda to help make a difference.

Build Rwanda is in talks with a specialist in this field and hopes to secure them as our exclusive project coordinator to help promote and manage the project.

The project will be for those who want to experience Rwanda and take part in promoting Faith and Hope School’s educational development. This will include working closely with the teachers helping them to develop good teaching practice and enhance their English skills. Each volunteer will have the opportunity to work within classrooms with children of all ages and abilities.

As this is a new venture for us we would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what would make a good volunteer trip for you?

What would you want to get from it?

What do expect the organiser to do for you?

How long would you like to spend in the country?

What type of accommodation is acceptable for this type of trip?

Would you like to have a recreational trip as part of the visit?

Hibernian Football Club Edinburgh supports Association-of-Kigali-Women-in-sports-Rwanda (AKWOS)

In 2009 Hibernian Football Club, Edinburgh gifted football strips for Rwanda

John Huges 2009 handing over a gift of strips for  AKWOS in Rwanda

John Huges 2009 handing over a gift of strips for AKWOS in Rwanda

The strips were taken there as part of the inaugural North Berwick Youth trip in 2009 lead by Allan Walker founder of Build Rwanda

AKWOS proudly receiving the strips

AKWOS proudly receiving the strips

The founder of AKWOS (Association-of-Kigali-women-in-sports-Rwanda) , Felicite Rwemalika, saw football as a powerful instrument to re-engage girls and women and empower them. Since 2001 she has successfully introduced football in all provinces of Rwanda. Playing football on a team with a mix of Hutu and Tutsi, these women learn to depend on each other to win and to find reconciliation in the camaraderie. AKWOS also focuses on reproductive health, economic empowerment, promotion of women’s rights, and addressing and overcoming the trauma of gender-based violence.

Alligator Pepper

I am quite often asked what some of the ingredients are in our range of Bims Kitchen sauces and one that often arises is “What is an Alligator Pepper”?

So after a bit of research here is one of the best answers.

Not a very common spice, and a member of the ginger family, alligator pepper, with the scientific name Afromomium meleguata is also known as grains of paradise, hepper pepper or mbongo spice. It is a North African spice and is used in Africa not only in food preparation but also in cultural practices, as medicine and as an accompaniment to kola nut. But guess what, grains of paradise is a little different from it, they are so closely related that it is also called the same name, the difference with the two is that grains of paradise is sold as only seeds while alligator pepper is sold as an entire pod which contains the seed, apart from that the taste and characteristics are but the same.

As the name suggest, the fruit and the seeds have a texture and appearance like that of an alligators back. It has a hot spicy taste and aroma which is popularly used in West African soups and stews. A very expensive spice and should be used sparingly because of its strong flavour, it is a popular ingredient in the famous pepper pot soup which is a speciality and great delight in West Africa. Your grains of paradise can also be used to flavour vegetables and is a great accompaniment to pumpkins, okras and potatoes.And listen this, when a baby is born in Africa, more specifically the Yoruba culture, a small amount of the pepper is given to them to taste, this is done minutes after they are born. It is said to be a welcoming process for the baby. It is also used as a traditional wedding gift in the same Yoruba culture where it is a very important spice.

Alligator Pepepr

Alligator Pepper

 

 

What is Fair Trade

We here at Build Rwanda have been selling toys supplied to us by Best Years. We have recently learned that they have been granted BAFTS status I have pleasure in presenting their story here.

We are very pleased to tell you that Best Years has now been accepted by BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops).

One of the many reasons why we applied is that we were becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of companies who were passing their products off as ethical.

Rather than try to make our claims louder or larger thought that customer recommendations and 3rd party validation would lend more authority to our ethical claims than a smart logo or hang tag. BAFTS was the obvious choice as they have an active and aware membership and a rigorous selection process.

The process to join BAFTS includes your application being reviewed by all BAFTS retailers which is a bit scary but does mean that only those wholesalers who are really ethical are accepted.

We also liked their definition of fair trade

“All involved in Fair Trade accept that it has to include: paying fair prices to producers which reflect the true cost of production, supporting producer organisations in their social and environmental projects, promoting gender equality in pay and working conditions, advising on product development to increase access to markets, committing to long term relationships to provide stability and security and campaigning to highlight the unequal system of world trade which places profit above human rights and threatens our environment.”

One of the key points to us is forging of long term relationships so that success and hard times are shared equally. No one should be bullied either by a retailer or a manufacturer as the consequences are well beyond any profit which can be gained. I am sure that the supermarket/retail buyer asking for an additional 10% off the price of their already cheap clothes did not suspect that they would be one of the threads leading to the loss of over 1000 lives in the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory.

Unfortunately the recession has meant many suppliers  to large retailers being asked for additional discounts without any thought of where this money was going to come from. Quick note to new retail buyers. There isn’t a secret pot of money being hidden from you.

Extra discounts get passed down the line to the person who can least afford to walk away .  

We have always believed that fair trade extends from our suppliers, to us, to our retailers and ultimately to our customers. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly in trade whether that is the customer getting a great toy at a fair price or the retailer who can make a fair profit on our wholesale toys and clothes.

This doesn’t mean that everyone always gets on. There are bound to be times when relationships are tested, in the same way that marriages and friendships are not always smooth. But where there is mutual respect and comman goals disputes are much more easily resolved.

So we believe that fair trade means exactly that. Every one working together in a trade has the right to be treated fairly, and paid fairly.

It is with pride that we are supplied by Best Years and appreciate the work and research they complete prior to accepting just any old toys. Please visit our store to see the range of gifts for all  children from birth.

We are not only helping to support our work in Rwanda through the sale of these toys but helping to improve the work of the projects in other countries.

The Final Days in Rwanda

So here we are the last few day in Rwanda for 8 young girls from North Berwick, Scotland

Meeting the children of Fruits of Hope Kigali

Meeting the children of Fruits of Hope Kigali

Planting trees of hope

Planting trees of hope

Paige getting her hands dirty

Paige getting her hands dirty

Iain Black "Claros Design" gifts sports shirts to Fruits of Hope Kigali

Iain Black “Claros Design” gifts sports shirts to Fruits of Hope Kigali

Day Ten

Our Plan was to go on Safari but oh dear small radiator issue!

Our Plan was to go on Safari but oh dear small radiator issue!

Oh Dear!

Oh Dear!

I am one to never give up! Safari was eventually completed in our "Back up" vehicle more like a taxi but hey nothing ventured nothing gained!

I am one to never give up! Safari was eventually completed in our “Back up” vehicle more like a taxi but hey nothing ventured nothing gained!

 

This lady "Manager" just smiled politely and shook her head when she saw our car.

This lady “Manager” just smiled politely and shook her head when she saw our car.

Look closely I had to swerve to avoid this little fellow

Look closely I had to swerve to avoid this little fellow

The End is Nigh!

Lauren with the children from the village near to the school.

Lauren with the children from the village near to the school.

Home sweet home  SO PROUD OF THEM ALL

Home sweet home
SO PROUD OF THEM ALL

So that was just a snap shot of twelve days in Rwanda. So thank you to the team and all those who supported them in their efforts to fund raise. So Thank you

Lauren Cowie

Leanne Ingles

Laura McLaren

Kari Spence

Paige Francis

Amy Sutherland

Fiona Shearer

Samantha Lamb

Morgan Doidge

Abbey Herriot

Ellen Lanson

Claire Cocokburn

And a huge thank you to Iain Black who volunteered to come on the trip and capture some of the images you have seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next four days in Rwanda

I hope you have enjoyed viewing some of the images from the North Berwick Youth Project’s visit to Rwanda in 2012.

Sharing with the local children

Sharing with the local children

Party time! during their visit they held a party for all the children at the school

Party time! during their visit they held a party for all the children at the school. Paige serving crisps

Lauren meets Queenie, a young girl who became very attached.

Lauren meets Queenie, a young girl who became very attached.

Oh dear a vehicle needed a wee push. End of day 5

Oh dear! our vehicle needed a wee push. End of day 5!

Day six

Meeting the children at a street project in Kigali

Meeting the children at a street project in Kigali

Street project kitchen. This project is supported by Comfort Rwanda

Street project kitchen. This project is supported by Comfort Rwanda

Aulsd Laing syne

Auld Lang syne

Day Seven

The map nears completion

The map nears completion

Felix Head Teacher Hope and Faith

Felix Head Teacher Hope and Faith

The school day comes to an end and the children are collected by parents

The school day comes to an end and the children are collected by parents

Day Eight

A safe return after a visit to the local Health Clinic. The Clinic is a four hour walk away from the community. Once there the children were well treated and received the appropriate medicine.

A safe return after a visit to the local Health Clinic. The Clinic is a four hour walk away from the community. Once there the children were well treated and received the appropriate medicine. This was supported by us and the Youth team who helped with the cost of medicine.

Tree of Hope and Friendship completed. Each leaf is a hand print of the team.

Tree of Hope and Friendship completed. Each leaf is a hand print of the team.

Scottish Lass completed.

Scottish Lass completed.

8 days takes its toll. My driving can't be that bad they all slept on the journey home.

8 days takes its toll. My driving can’t be that bad they all slept on the journey home.

 

So we are up to day eight didn’t they do well. This small group of girls are now in love with Rwanda and already planning their return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Days in 2012

On the 6th October 2012 eight wonderful young people from North Berwick Youth Project, North Berwick, Scotland left their small sea side town for an adventure of a life time. Their leaders Lauren Cowie, Leanne Ingle, Laura Neild and Kari Spence had chosen to undertake the challenge of supporting a school Bugesera region Rwanda. Their journey had begun some 8 months earlier with planning and fundraising events galore and not to forget the barrage of injects against all manner of strange tropical diseases.

Team building 02  and some team building activities.

Arriving Kigali international Airport.

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On their first day in Rwanda they visited the Genocide Memorial site in Kigali. It was an early opportunity to fully understand this part of Rwanda’s History and to appreciate the progress they have made since 1994

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The youth team making a donation towards the work of the centre.

Rather than take you through each day in words please view the photographs which tell the story. Day One

Meeting Fred Buyinza school Founder and Head Teacher.

Meeting Fred Buyinza school Founder and Head Teacher.

 

Teaching the children a song

Teaching the children a song at Fruits of Hope School Kigali. 

Day Two

The start of the journey to Hope and Faith School Bugesera

The start of the journey to Hope and Faith School Bugesera

Paint purchase for art project at the school. NO B&Q here. All paint colours mixed by the young man in his suit jacket and not a drop spilled.

Paint being purchased for art project at Faith and Hope  school. NO B&Q here. All paint colours mixed by the young man in his suit jacket and not a drop spilled.

End of a great day

End of a great day

Day Three

Leanne meeting the locals

Leanne meeting the locals

Fiona concentrating on Map of Rwanda

Fiona and Kari painting  Map of Rwanda in classroom

Playing games with the children of Faith and Hope school

Playing games with the children of Faith and Hope school

Day four

Abbi adds to her creation of a Scottish Lass

Abbi adds to her creation of a Scottish Lass

Lauren works on the Tree of friendship

Lauren works on the Tree of friendship

Well that is up to day four enjoy the images more to follow tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little more about us

Build Rwanda was established as a business to allow a portion of the  profits to be invested in helping communities in Rwanda enabling them to work and educate their way out of poverty.

With direct support being given to three schools, a business cooperative and a metal work business Build Rwanda has become a Conscious Capitalist business.

cropped-Laughing-child-with-pencil-case-1.jpg

Weaving Cooperative

Weaving Cooperative

 

With the expansion of the business into a wide variety of other products, Toys supplied by Best Years and ethically sourced and fully tested by them. We are able to support cooperatives in Bangladesh, Peru and Chile.

Pixie Dolls

Pixie Dolls

 

Cuddly gorilla

Cuddly gorilla

 

Our latest development has been the move to delicatessen style products and we now work closely with a small business based in London “Bim’s Kitchen” who produce award winning Sauces and Jams. We are delighted to bring this small taste of Africa to Scotland.

BK_Family

So how do we sell most of these products?

From our website www.buildrwanda.org.uk

At market stalls all over Scotland where you can come and see our wonderful range but also find out a bit more about Build Rwanda’s work.

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