Many people are flocking to a little shop in Rwanda for something sweet, cold and yummy. With “ice-cream, coffee, dreams” across its signage, Inzozi Nziza (Sweet Dreams) is the country’s first ice-cream parlor. Offering scoops of passion fruit, strawberry and pineapple flavors, the shop is bringing together locals and changing the lives of the nine women which it employs. "I didn’t have a job before: I just stayed at home. Now I have a vision for the future. I am making money and I can give some of it to my family,“ says 27-year-old Louise Ingabire, who manages the parlor. 

Outside the shop, the nine women are members of Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda’s first and only female drumming troupe, founded by Odile Gakire Katese, the owner of Inzozi Nziza. The troupe was established ten years ago to empower widows, orphans and survivors of the1994 genocide that killed nearly a million people. The musicians and ice cream shop are both featured in the documentary, "Sweet Dreams.”

Read more via The Guardian

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Shana Goodwin’s education ended at age 12 when she was trafficked by her mother’s drug dealer. At 18, she took to the streets until her last arrest in 2010.  Now 39, Shana is a sales representative for Thistle Farms, an initiative of the Nashville nonprofit Magdalene, which runs a two-year recovery program for former prostitutes that includes free long-term housing and counseling. It also provides job opportunities for the women like Shana to make and sell scented candles, lotions and lip balms. “I cannot imagine you sticking me in a program and giving me 28 days and saying, ‘You’re healed! Shazam! Go out into the world and find a job,’ ” Shana says. “I have 167 arrests, I have never held down a job, and that would have never worked.” Thistle Farms’ sales grew by about 40 percent this year, and this week they celebrate their first million-dollar mark in annual sales – enough to hire 15 more women this fall! Read more via Nashville Public Radio.