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Our Giveback

Misiyo means 'mission' in the native Rwandan language because giving back with every candle is our purpose, our why + our mission. Born from our love of beautiful spaces, traveling the globe and connecting with those different than us, every candle does good beyond your home by giving back to someone in need.

Every Misiyo candle gives back one, two or three months of health insurance to someone in Rwanda.

Together, we've given back 92,830 months of health insurance since 2019.

Rwandan woman holding a Misiyo candle - a recent recipient of health insurance from our giveback
Misiyo founder Sherah standing with Rwandan founders of The River, James and Jackie
Rwandan woman recipient of health insurance from Misiyo Candle Co - smiling and holding a candle

Why Rwanda?

Since 2010, we have personally been volunteering with and supporting a non-profit organization in Rwanda called Irere Foundation (formerly known as The River). This is the cause we're personally impacted by, passionate about and have seen the difference being made firsthand!

By providing health insurance to those in need through the Irere Foundation, everyone we support is able to live a healthier life. We don't believe in handouts; we believe in equal opportunity and raising up those who may need a helping hand. They'll have better opportunity to pursue an education or career, raise their family and bring their unique contribution to our world!

The River founders James and Jackie, pictured together on a hilltop overlooking Kigali, Rwanda

Irere Foundation

Founded and run by James + Jackie (pictured), Irere Foundation has been working with disadvantaged families, orphans and widows around Rwanda for over 12 years. Along with their support of health insurance to those in need, they place orphans and widows together into family networks, create and maintain support groups for widows around the country, provide counselling and emotional health work, provide food for those dealing with short term food insecurity, oversee farming cooperatives to build community + revitalize local vendor markets and provide financial aid for education.

They've been intentionally working in a remote village facing some big challenges over the past few years. This work includes training people there in vocational skills like sewing and styling hair, as well as revitalizing the village's local market through farming cooperatives where people now share their knowledge, sell their food and proudly display their handcrafts each week. This was the particular project we visited on our most recent trip to Rwanda (pictured below).

We have seen each person supported with health insurance able to live a healthier life. They are empowered in their education, career and family life, making our world a more beautiful and free place!

The River founder Jackie speaking some encouragement to women in their farming cooperative in rural Rwanda
Rwandan girls dancing at their vocational school in rural Rwanda
Dusk in the Rwandan countryside with a red dirt road and banana trees on their side
Women graduating from their sewing training and showing off the bags they have made at The River vocational training centre in rural Rwanda
Misiyo founder Shelby and The River founder James walking down the road towards a market stall in Kigali, Rwanda

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”

― Benjamin Disraeli

How Our Giveback is Administered

Irere Foundation (formerly known as The River) is a recognized charitable organization within the country of Rwanda. Our giveback is tallied throughout the year and then paid yearly in May. Each person supported will receive twelve months of health insurance coverage starting in July of that year. Rwanda has a leading health care system within Africa and their community-based insurance program offers care to everyone within their country using a tiered premium approach. Those we support are families and individuals who provide for themselves, but who may not be able to afford their premiums for the year due to circumstances beyond their control.