The UN estimates more than 250,000 women were raped and infected with HIV/AIDS during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The majority of these women living with HIV/AIDS are destitute. To rebuild their lives and communities these women need the opportunity to earn an income and provide for their families. Same Sky is a trade-not-aid initiative in Rwanda and Zambia, providing employment opportunities to women struggling to lift themselves out of poverty.
The sale of Same Sky bracelets directly supports these women working in artisan cooperatives. These women artisans are able to earn substantially more than the average wage and find a forum where they can discuss the social concerns of their communities such as poverty, family planning, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women.
Same Sky is partnered with, Gahaya Links, which employs local Rwandan women, and Abataka Collective in Lusaka, Zambia.
In 2006 UNAIDS appointed Mary Fisher an ambassador on HIV/AIDS issues, honoring her work especially with women and children. She has worked in and around Rwanda for years and was the first to teach artisans in this area the style of crochet now used by Same Sky.
Same Sky has been featured in several fashion magazines and has been supported by several well-known celebrities.