RAHISI was produced by a talented weaver working as part of a cooperative of around 580 members. These fair trade baskets are woven from reeds found in riverbeds and swampland, though many cooperatives now grow their own reeds, having purchased the raw materials with profits from basket sales.
Most weavers are primarily farmers, and work is scarce during the dry seasons when it can become impossible to make ends meet. Weavers earn a fair and pre-agreed wage for each basket they produce, and this money helps pay children’s school fees and family medical bills, enabling women to work flexibly and fit weaving in around other jobs and duties.
Profits from basket sales are reinvested for business development. Communities buy things like solar lighting and kerosene lamps for working late, as well as new land and warehouses for making and storing baskets with proceeds from sales. Cooperative leaders also organise frequent product development training as well as healthcare education.