In April 2013, 25 African women joined a four week ‘By Women, For Women’ Ecovillage Design Education (EDE), held by Lua Bashala and Kosha Joubert at Umphakatsi Peace Ecovillage, Mpumalanga, South Africa. The women exchanged and learned about ecological, cultural, social and economic aspects of sustainable community living and designed small projects to increase the resilience of their neighbourhoods. On another level, a deep level of mutual trust was built amongst them as they shared stories of what it means to be African women in leadership, most having overcome deep challenges in personal and community life. In this protective, caring environment many revealed for the first time that they had been victims of rape, abuse and sexual violence. A sense of deep healing, love and sisterhood arose.
As the women sat by the Umphakatsi River towards the end of the EDE, a joint vision emerged seemingly from the flowing waters: An inspiration to found a network of support between women, linking North and South in fruitful dialogue and exchange. The River of Life Project was born to weave webs of kindness and trust for women’s empowerment, bringing sweet hope to places of harshness.
The mission is for women to support each other and express their care and leadership through:
- Reaching out to women on all continents
- Exchanging best practice, educating and building capacity
- Strengthening our communities to become places of inspiration
- Celebrating our cultural heritage
- Working for healing and reconciliation
- Growing abundant gardens for food sovereignty
- Working with our natural resources to restore our ecosystems
- Building ethical businesses and fair trade networks
‘I can’t run from my continent —- my life work is in harsh conditions in Congo and South Africa – I have a huge need for spaces of deep connectivity to hold and nurture women’ (Lua)
If you would like to support the whole programme right now with a one-time donation, please fill the payment form below.
If you want to develop a closer relationship and financially support a woman long term (for more than one year), then please fill out this form and we will take the time to find the right match and level of support for you.
You are also invited to learn more or share information about River of Life with our downloadable programme brochure.
Please write to us at river-[email protected] if you have any questions or would like more information about this initiative.
Thank you so much for your support of the River of Life programme!