Our partner, Ikirezi Natural Products is an emerging agribusiness, producing essential oils in Rwanda and re-investing in community projects that will have a positive impact. Ikirezi not only connects women artisans to the market through selling beautifully woven sisal bowls, but also employs women farmers to tend and harvest rose geranium for essential oils. We wanted to share a few words about Ikirezi from Thistle Farms founder, Becca Stevens, and Ikirezi founder, Nicholas Hitimana.
"When people ask you, "where is the farm". As Thistle Farmers the world is our farm---there is nowhere we travel where thistles can't thrive. Thistles are a universal truth that remind us that for survivor leaders there is one story, one community, one love. Because of Thistle Farms global marketplace: Shared Trade, we have many farms including ones in Sewanee, Tennessee, Ajijic, Mexico, and in Kigali, Rwanda. We are rich farmers!" - Becca Stevens
"Claudine is our best geranium farmer. She is a very hard working woman and she certainly has a 'green thumb' with geranium. Here she was sharing how geranium farming has transformed her life and that of her family. She has an amazing story" - Nicholas, Director of Ikirezi