Fourth Annual Evening in Support of Women and Families in Rwanda


Our fourth annual fundraising event was a heart-felt success. We raised a little over $3,250, an amount that will go a long way to continue the programs that Aimee and Clarisse have created to support the health and success of women and families in Rwanda.

In saying “heart-felt” it was meant in the truest sense. So many of the attendees told us during the evening that it was a “feel good” event. Our local vendors with their unique products and services made for a festive holiday market. The silent auction and raffle provided ample opportunity to have fun and win some amazing prizes.

The African-themed fashion show was a delight with the colourful women’s fashions and even a little dance performed by Aimée’s children as they modelled their animal print skirts!

And perhaps the most touching part of the evening was the stories told by Clarisse and Aimée of the work that is happening in Rwanda and the impact it is having. The women are learning new skills that will set them on their way to running their own sewing, jewelry-making, and yogurt businesses. Other aspects of the programs such as parenting and health education will start up again as the social distancing measures of the pandemic ease off.

We were moved by the video testimony given by one of the sewing course graduates, who spoke of needing a sewing machine in order to start her business.

A sewing machine in Rwanda costs about $120 CAD. If you would like to sponsor a sewing machine for one of these women, please contact Aimée or Mary Beth..

Those that sponsor will be able to follow the emerging sewing micro-enterprise of their benefactor through the photos and stories sent back to us from Rwanda.

If you missed the opportunity to participate, it is not too late to offer a donation by sending an e-transfer to Mary Beth or Aimée or you can use the donate button below.

You can still shop with our wonderful local vendors who will donate back 10% of their profits to Zirikana if you mention Zirikana when you make your purchase, through to the end of December. Shop local and find unique products and services for your holiday gift-giving!

Sincere thanks to all who supported this year’s event!

The Zirikana Story

As young girls, Aimee and Clarisse survived the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi but lost their parents and 4 siblings. The 1994 Genocide against Tutsi left the country ravaged, families destroyed, and many girls growing up without a mother figure. Through this tragedy, however, has grown hope, and revival of life and culture.

Zirikana works with women and children to support family harmony, resilience and sustainable financial security.  Staff and volunteers provide programs to promote mental health, parenting education, empowerment, entrepreneurship through micro-enterprise, and youth development.

Since our successful fundraiser last year, a group of women completed  a training program to become professional seamstresses, and others have started a business making and selling yogurt.  They have also become part of a supportive community that helps each other to feel worthy, to belong, and to raise their children to be educated, confident and successful.

These women can now support themselves and their families and “live with happiness”! It is a wonderful thing to know that  this work is largely funded by generous people like you in London Ontario.


To eliminate service charges, you can send an e-transfer donation directly to Thank you for your generosity!



Zirikana 2021






There are many ways you can support Zirikana:

  • Make a donation
  • Shop with our Market Vendors – from now to the end of the year, when you mention Zirikana at the time of your purchase, 10% of the sale will be donated to Zirikana.
  • Purchase a sewing machine for one of our sewing course graduates so she can launch her business that will support her family. A sewing machine costs $120 CAD.

Clarisse Mukashumbusho Cechetto and Aimee Utuza, Co-Founders of Zirikana

Holiday Vendor Market

Vegan Handbags, Clean Beauty Skincare, Sterling Silver Jewelry, and More!

Sandy Van Alstyne

Shopping with Sandy

I’m thrilled to be back with one stop shopping for Handbags, Clean Beauty Skin Care, .925 Sterling Silver Jewellery and More.

Poppy & Peonies is a female-led company offering a variety of VEGAN leather purses and accessories. Save 10% with DISCOUNT code VEGANHANDBAGSANDMORE10%

Our founder at Beautycounter set out to transform the beauty industry by creating clean, high-performing skin care and makeup, while fighting to change the laws that control what we can and cannot use in products, so that everyone has access to safer beauty. We have banned over 1,800 ingredients. Please contact me if you would like to try a sample.

Who remembers the timeless quality of Silpada .925 Sterling Silver? I am back selling from Canada and shipping is always FREE! Be sure to sign up for Shine Rewards to save an additional 5% on Every Order. All prices are in USD.

Spatty is a fun business I discovered accidentally. They appeared on Shark Tank with their handy spatulas designed to help you get every last drop and save you money. Perfect for the kitchen, bathroom, work- shop and craft room. Save 20% with code SANDYVANALSTYNE

These are all available in One handy link:

Reiki and Bars Sessions

Patricia Maki

PM Energy 

I am a Reiki Master Teacher with 21 years experience from Japan and Canada. I also am an Access Bars Practitioner. I include some Qi gong, Taichi and Mindfulness practices to help children and adults with anxiety and stress during my sessions.

For this Zirikana Fundraiser, I am giving back 10% of the fee on every appointment booked with me during the month of December for any future date (at my home office).

Women’s Fashion & Accessories

Cat Hicks

Independent cabi Stylist

In person: a group styling experience in your home or mine
Virtual: a group styling experience on our Front Row platform

In person: styling session in my home or yours
Virtual: a personal styling session together online
Boutique in a bag: your favourites plus a few more, delivered to your door to try
Curated by cabi: a monthly customized styling services

Follow the shopping link for personalized shopping 

I am honoured to be part of the Zirikana event and look forward to connecting with you!
Instagram: catzstyling

Ethically Sourced, Beautiful Products

Janice Martins

Little by Little, Haiti

Little by Little, Haiti was founded by Isabel Stigge, alongside her husband Greg Stigge. Since 2014, they have been able to keep more than 150 children with their families through economic empowerment. At Little by Little we believe that sustainable business can offer solutions to many problems facing the people of Haiti. Our goal is to create ethically sourced, beautifully designed products and our vision is to care holistically for the people of Haiti. You can go onto our website to learn more about us and to see our products. We look forward to seeing you soon at the Zirikana 2021 fourth annual evening in Support of women and families in Rwanda.

Nail Art Manicures at Home

Dorothy Reitsma

Color Street

Color Street is brand new to Canada and features unique nail art designs, glitters and polishes in a dry nail strip. The strip is 100% nail polish, is chip resistant and offers a salon quality manicure in minutes. Looking forward to sharing it with you!

Home Organizing Services and Up-Cycled Products

Sarah Aziz

Simply Sarah E

I am very excited to be a part of this event. I have a Home Organizing business and I also create and sell up-cycled products, like funky bags made from African coffee sacks and re-usable food wraps made from vintage linens and beeswax. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook under my business name Simplysarahe.

Colourful Hand-Sewn Bags

Jillian Johnston and Pat Bruvelaitis

Days for Girls London

Every month, millions of women and girls in developing countries miss school and work because they lack something essential: menstrual health supplies. 

Days for Girls is an international non-profit organization that distributes reusable menstrual hygiene kits and provides menstrual health education, ensuring access to education, health, and success for everyone!

Days for Girls London is selling high quality colourful products made from scraps of material left over in the process of sewing DFG Kits.  Check out the Zirikana Facebook Event Page for product details. Your purchase will support both Days for Girls and Zirikana!
The Shopping Link goes to the Zirikana Facebook Event Page where you can scroll down to the Days for Girls post to get more information. To purchase products, please contact: Pat or Jill at

 Pure Vegan Luxury

Mairi Shewfelt

Yatta Brands

Skincare, cosmetics, haircare & jewellery for the eco-conscious consumer. We source the best vegan, non-toxic, and sustainable beauty and lifestyle products from around the world.

“I founded Yatta to change the way people think about Luxury. Eco-Luxury is about taking care of yourself and the world we live in. It’s about using top-quality natural ingredients that won’t harm your body, and it’s about manufacturing products in a way that won’t harm the environment”. The name Yatta is Japanese for “I did it/We did it” and it reflects our company’s belief that together, we can create a more sustainable and beautiful future.

Books that Empower Children

Heidi Pritchard Payne

Barefoot Books

These books celebrate families, communities and world cultures through vibrant illustrations and meaningful stories, individual unique qualities and strengths are honoured, differences are respected and similarities are discovered. Life lessons around connection, empathy, and resilience are shared in an empowering manner.

I can provide guidance based on interest & age. Our selections are also perfect for teacher gifts. If in the London area, contact me to order to save on shipping costs.


Eco-Friendly Cleaning 

Deb Miller

ENJO Canada

ENJO is an award winning cleaning system that uses only water from your taps, with our ENJOTex© fibres. Our fibres are handmade in Austria, sustainable, fully recyclable, carbon neutral.

We help anyone looking to reduce use of cleaners in their home, workplace or gathering spaces. ENJO saves you time, and money, and cleans 6x better than commercial cleaners (tested by science).

Our product brochure has our offerings and information:
Contact me through the shopping link or email me @ for any questions!

All purchases as a result of the Zirikana event, will generate a donation to Zirikana.

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