Started in 2004 in the heart of Africa, Cards from Africa is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, and passionate about fair trade. In addition to providing their staff with quality employment, CfA also fosters a sense of self-worth and capability.

They employ both a Pastoral care worker and an Entrepreneurial development worker, who together help holistically care for the development of their staff.

By spending 30 minutes every morning, teaching them on different subjects such as financial management, practical business skills, health care, improving agricultural efficiency and other essential life lessons that those with parents often take for granted. In partnering with Rwandan youth, Cards from Africa provides the key to opportunity, and ultimately expects them to unlock the oppression of poverty themselves.

Rachelle, who lost both her parents by the time she was 13, was left to look after her younger brother and sister by herself.  Miraculously she survived living off what they could grow on their meagre plot of land and getting odd jobs from neighbours for 5 years. When Cards from Africa found her and offered her a job at the age of 18, she was able to start paying for her siblings to go back to school, pay for health care and have a healthy diet. When asked what difference making greeting cards has made to her she says ‘I’m not just surviving now, I can plan for my future.  It has given me hope.’  

Rachelle has family members and close neighbours that have died from malaria, so she knows more than anyone that having a stable job is vital in enabling her to pay for treatment quickly if anyone in her family falls ill. Also, her family now all sleep with mosquito nets, something that before working at Cards from Africa she never did but the 30 minute morning teaching sessions have educated her a lot. A few years ago she also started a small business which she runs alongside her job at Cards from Africa, and this has significantly increased her monthly income.

The top three reasons why people buy Cards from Africa are the quality, the variety and the cause. The standard of workmanship is outstanding as each card takes over 30 minutes to make and incorporates the card makers’ own handmade paper which is made by recycling waste from offices in Kigali. This gives the cards a lovely texture and collage-type look as papers are layered on top of each other to build up each card.

Another lovely feature of each card is that every card maker signs their name on the back of the card when they’ve finished making it. These are real people who are genuinely being helped every time someone buys one of their beautiful cards. And for every 13 cards sold 1 day of dignifying employment is created for one of the card makers like Rachelle, so it’s a tangible way for people all over the world to support a great cause and buy beautiful cards at the same time!   

Cards from Africa are making huge strides in making a positive difference to the quality of life for orphaned youth in Rwanda - www.cardsfromafrica.com