Born in Rwanda’s Eastern Province, Joy Ndungutse spent her childhood and early adult years in exile due to political instability in Rwanda. She grew up in a refugee camp in Uganda, continuously exposed to the tremendous hardships that women endured.
Driven by her experience and the move back to Rwanda post-genocide, she started a collaboration with women in rural areas designing baskets which led to the co-founding of Gahaya Links. The talented artisans using traditional weaving skills and techniques are now retailing internationally in spaces like Anthropologies, Macy's and St Frank. Gahaya Links manages a network of over 4,000 weavers across the country, within 72 cooperatives.
Today, she serves as Vice-chair/Country Director of New Faces New Voice Rwanda Chapter, a Founding Member of Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, Board of Director Akilah Institute and Advisor to Girl Hub Rwanda. She remains committed to contributing Rwanda's development and supporting women in realizing financial independence while preserving its vibrant culture.