Christmas in Rwanda
Christmas in Rwanda is an exciting season, filled with the joy of seeing loved ones after months apart. Christmas for our artisans is a time to share with their families things that they could rarely afford. They buy new clothing, shoes, meat and Fanta to share. Beyond the material blessings that make this time of year so exciting, the women now understand the significance of the celebration. They feel a connection to the birth of Jesus, which has taken a new meaning in their lives. Christmas becomes a time to reflect on the many blessings in their lives and to praise God for his faithfulness.
Even those who haven’t gone to church in a long time choose to go on Christmas. The air is full of joyous expectation, as Christmas songs can be heard in stores and homes and lights begin to be added to the palm trees lining the roads. Some choose to visit their nearest family and friends, while others travel far to reach those they haven’t seen all year. Babies born on Christmas are so special. Unlike waiting the traditional 7 days, their parents choose to name the child that day with a party. There are always events happening in Kigali during Christmas and on a smaller scale in other parts of Rwanda. Churches hold prayers and caroling, some lasting the whole night before Christmas.
Denise recalls her childhood around Christmas. As she was growing up she would eat a lot of food and meat during the holiday. She would wear new clothes, play with the other kids, get to see other family members that she hadn’t seen in a while and she could go to church with her family.
At DuHope there is always a Christmas party. The party is a time to reflect on the year and fellowship with one another. Artisans and other staff come together to laugh, swap stories and celebrate the hard work that has made DuHope so successful. Jeanne spoke about how they come dressed well for the occasion; they eat really good food, get new clothes, dance and celebrate with each other. Betty expressed the happiness she feels with she gets to with DuHope staff, some of whom they don’t get to see very often.