Three boys (Jean Claude, Salomon, and Emmanuel) forced to become men during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, banded together to become a family. Not a substitute or pretend family, but rather a "Best Family" for each other. Other young survivors of the genocide saw this family and wanted to join. Soon the three boys became fathers and brothers to many, and the NGO Best Family Rwanda was born in 2010 and now serves over 200 orphans and vulnerable children in Rwanda.
ITARA is a child of Best Family Rwanda. Although the physical needs for the children in the program were being met, the mothers of these children, many whom are survivors of the genocide, lacked the necessary skills to provide for their families.
In 2015, mothers of children within the Best Family Rwanda program were selected to learn the trade of sewing using manual sewing machines. With the assistance of a product designer based in the United States, the mothers learned how to sew beautiful, unique products with materials purchased in the local Kigali, Rwanda market. The Rwandan government was supportive of the ITARA initiative and provided a rent free workshop for the women to learn and store their goods. After intensive training for a year and a half, the women are now seeking to establish a sustainable income for their families.
ITARA means "light" and our goal is to shine a path forward out of dependence into a sustainable, confident, and bright future for these women and their families.
ITARA Studio was formed in late 2017 in order to help ITARA expand outside of Rwanda. In July 2018, ITARA was approved as a 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States. All efforts from the United States to support ITARA are performed on a volunteer basis so that 100% of all proceeds are used to help the women and families of ITARA.
Best Family Rwanda/ITARA Documentary