We provide them with employment handcrafting greeting cards that truly embody better lives. Our staff receive fair wages and valuable life skills while our customers are delivered excellence.
Cards from Africa is a part of a new generation of African businesses setting a trend in our divided world. We make high quality products, made in one of the poorest countries, available to the international market at competitive prices. In return, we offer well-paid employment to those who need it the most. Furthermore, our business model is to provide a stepping-stone for our staff to transition easily to another career or start their own business someday. We are currently developing a program to effectively teach entrepreneurial, management, and practical business skills to our staff. By unleashing creativity, teaching valuable skills, and fostering self-worth, we are confident that someday they will be able to access the international market themselves and contribute to a thriving economy and better quality of life for all Rwandans.
The idea for Cards from Africa came to British founder, Chris Page, in 2004, inspired by a Kenyan doctor who had started a similar endeavor to generate income for women in a Nairobian slum. Chris teamed up with Rwandan artist Gabriel Dusabe and together they learned how to make paper and create simple card prototypes. Their first employee was a young orphaned woman named Ariette. After one month's time they asked her to bring another friend to train but she brought two! Shortly after, twenty more orphaned youth were trained and the business was born. Our profits are continually reinvested into company operations as well as the lives of our staff. Our hope is to grow to provide steady employment to 300 orphaned young people in Rwanda and to provide a model for sustainable job creation in Africa.
We run this business because we believe that God has a heart for the poor and marginalized in society and that faith requires action: "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, `Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,´ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:15-17)
We believe that all people are precious and that we must do more than provide jobs: we must take care of the entire person. As a result, we take a holistic approach to employment. For example, we spend 30 minutes at the beginning of each day with our staff discussing practical, spiritual, and emotional issues affecting their lives. The life skills acquired from these discussions have proven to be invaluable to their growth. Our staff warmly embrace our faith-inspired intentions.
Our orphaned young people support their families by making cards.