Theogene Maniraho expanded a culture of saving in his communityTheogene Maniraho, 39 years old, lives with his wife and five children in Kigali, Kicukiro district, Niboye sector. Theogene used to work as a motorcycle taxi driver to sustain his family. In August 2014, he had an accident with his motorbike and lost his leg. The recovery took very long. “I could only see darkness in my future. My wife started washing clothes in the neighborhood households, so that we can make ends meet”, he explained.

In August 2016, African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) enrolled Theogene’s household into the USAID Twiyubake program. “I was excited to join the program. I joined the savings and lending group we named Twiyubake as we really wanted to build ourselves,” he added.

The group members elected Theogene as the savings group treasurer. When the group’s community based volunteer resigned, he took over. He coached and encouraged the group to work hard to maximize their savings. The members provide a share of Rwf 500 (0.60 US $) per week. Most of them live from day labor and small businesses of selling vegetables. After only eight months, the 25 group members had saved Rwf 1,112,750 (1390 US $).

The group is satisfied with Theogene as a community based volunteer. “They have accepted me despite my disability as they realized that I am an asset to them”, he explained.

 

“Because I liked the concept of the USAID Twiyubake savings group, I initiated on my own a savings group in the community to allow other people improve their lives and benefit from the savings methodology. My wife became a member of this group and their treasurer”, announced Theogene.

The family started a charcoal business out of two lendings, one of Rwf 20,000 (US $ 25) and Rwf 60,000 (US $ 75). Their three children are in primary school and the two young ones are attending the program’s ECD center. Theogene is targeting to open a shop in his neighborhood.

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