In June 2016, Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Rwanda (FXB) established the USAID Twiyubake supported Tuzamurane saving group located in Rusisiro village, Kayenzi cell, Kagogo sector, Burera district. The program trained the saving group on financial literacy and the saving with education methodology. Kagogo sector is among sectors designed to receive USAID Twiyubake household economic strengthening (HES) – only services, so the saving group is not receiving any additional services from the program. The group is composed of 21 members - 11 females and 10 men.

In only one year, the members were able to improve the socio-economic status of their households. They managed to share out Rwf 2,800,000 (US $ 3,289) after one year of saving and received a match on their savings of Rwf 1,200,000 (US $ 1,409) from the program. The group was motivated by their progress and started to think of starting an income generating activity. When they started their second saving cycle on August 17th 2017, their aim was to save enough to start viable small businesses that would generate income for their group and families. Following a brief survey of the market and discussions among members, the group opted to invest in a basket weaving business. They hired a trainer to teach them how to weave baskets and bought materials from the saved money to get started. The members also started individual businesses and used these as outlets to sell the baskets.

Within only four months after starting their second saving cycle, and starting their weaving business, the group managed to accumulate savings of Rwf 1,206,000 (US $ 1,417). Every week, members generate a minimum of Rwf 14,000 (US $ 16) from their personal business, in addition to selling the baskets.

The lives of group members have changed significantly. Everyone in the group has a goat and an additional personal income generating activity. Their living conditions have been transformed and they are no longer struggling to have something to eat as it was before the program intervened. They are able to meet the basic needs of all their children. The group has a bank account at Umurenge SACCO and has applied for a loan to further invest in the basket weaving business. Different stakeholders are promising to help them find markets for their baskets.

Recently, the group conducted a market survey and found out that in their area there is no milk collection center. They are now planning to establish a small milk collection center, as a second group income generating activity. They plan to invest around Rwf 2,500,000 (US $ 2,937) in this project. The group has already taken the first step towards this goal and has obtained a written permit and approval from the district authorities. They are currently working closely with the sector to find a house where they can set up the business and start collecting milk from local farmers. This project is expected to start in February 2018. The group has become a useful avenue for members to converge and discuss their challenges, and find ways to overcome them.

 Connect with Us  Facebook7Twitter7