Through a handful of options, the Nyamirambo Women’s Center offers tourists a uniquely personal insight into the culture, history, and daily life of our community. All of the tour guides either grew up in Nyamirambo or live here now, so the tours truly are a welcome into our home. The profits from the tours go back into the Center and are used to pay our seamstresses a fair wage and fund our community engagement initiatives, which include free literacy classes; a library with afternoon programming for children; and periodical sewing courses, English classes, and workshops on women’s rights, health, and nutrition.
Our most popular offering, the walking tour begins at the Women’s Center with a traditional snack, a quick Kinyarwanda language lesson, and an introduction to the Center and its activities. It then weaves through Nyamirambo, one of Kigali’s oldest neighborhoods. Along the way guides lead participants into a women’s hairdressing salon where the adventurous type can get a free braid; into a family compound to pound cassava leaves; by two mosques and a lookout view over Kigali; and into a tailor shop to feel the fabrics you’ll otherwise see styled on the streets. The tour concludes with a traditional lunch made and served in the home of Aminatha, NWC’s best cook.
All around Rwanda one can see sisal basketry products. In this workshop, visitors are given a chance to try their own hand at the time-intensive and historically significant practice of basketry. The workshop begins with an overview of the cultural history of sisal, followed by an in-depth explanation of the process of from harvest to final product. Participants then get a needle and – under the guidance of the expert women of the Center – begin weaving a small token of their choice to take home. The workshop concludes with with a traditional lunch made and served in the home of Aminatha, NWC’s best cook.
From market to meal, every step of the process of cooking is shared by Aminatha and participants in this tour. After buying produce and ingredients at several markets the group walks just around the corner from the Center to Aminatha’s home. There they get to work at a wooden table in her courtyard, chopping countless vegetables and starting the charcoal stoves. Under the guidance of Aminatha six traditional, delicious, and gratifying dishes are prepared and then shared by all involved,