Third Lockdown and DuHope was Ready
by Kirabo Diane, Operations Director
COVID-19 has had a significant and lasting impact on nearly all sectors in nearly every corner of the world. DuHope has not escaped this reality. However, through lessons learned during the first lockdown and a lot of innovative thinking, DuHope has been able to continue selling beautiful, quality products produced by our artisans.
During the first lockdown, DuHope, like all organizations around the world, was unprepared. Work came to a complete halt and our artisans were not able to earn an income. The lockdown was an intense time, but through it and by the grace of God, DuHope has emerged stronger and more adaptable.
During the most recent lockdown in July, DuHope was far more prepared, supporting our artisans to work from home. The Government of Rwanda announced a total lockdown mid-July 2021, closing all non-essential services and requiring movement clearance for all Rwandan residents. Management at DuHope opted to deliver raw materials and tools directly to the artisans and, though not all products could be produced, artisans were able to earn some income. DuHope is proud to have been able to push through despite the obstacles.
We are thankful that this lockdown was not as debilitating for our staff and it in fact had some unexpected positive outcomes. One unexpected result of working from home was a reduction in stigma and discrimination for some of our artisans in their communities. Those living around them could see that they were still working and had other employment beyond sex work. We hope that this change is lasting and that this new respect from their communities motivates them to continue their personal, spiritual and career journeys.