YWCA kitchen gardenJulienne Mukantwari, 30 years old, is a USAID Twiyubake program beneficiary in Mwiri Sector, Kayonza district. “I’m grateful to YWCA Rwanda which is implementing the USAID Twiyubake program in our district. The program transformed me and my community through promoting food security. I can now feed my family with nutrient vegetables grown at home in my kitchen gardens”.

ECD GicumbiThe Urumuri ECD center, established by Caritas in Miyove sector, Gicumbi, district hosts 48 children from Monday to Friday. For many mothers such as Alphonsine Icyizanye, the ECD center supports their children’s education, helps ease parenting responsibilities, as most mothers are involved in farming activities.

“Prior to the ECD center my 4 year old daughter accompanied me to the fields. Sometimes while I would be busy in my work, my daughter would wander around in the village, she would even sleep at any house in my neighborhood. I was perceived in the community as a careless mother, the situation was beyond my control. The caregivers in the ECD center support me in educating my child; my daughter now talks to me politely, she has good manners, she demonstrates self care and is all in all more disciplined. I do not know how I can express my gratitude towards the Urumuli ECD Center,” said Alphonsine.

CBV savings group simbi sectorFollowing the monthly meeting between DUHAMIC ADRI field staff and Simbi sector CBVs, the CBVs decided to form a savings group to generate income and apply their acquired knowledge for their own good. Their savings group “Twigiremuhinzimworozi” has been operational since March 2016. The group is composed of 50 CBVs, and they meet in front of the Dukire Simbi SACCO office, allowing them to deposit the collected shares immediately into their account. The savings group is registered at the cell level.

“We decided to provide a savings contribution of RwF 1,000 ($1.22) per month. After 9 months of savings, we now have saved a total of RwF 541,700 ($660),” explained Donate Nyabyenda, the president of the group. He continued: “although we are all friends and support each other, we charge a penalty of RwF 50 ($0.06) for late arrivals and RwF 100 ($0.12) for absences. With this collected amount we purchase administration materials such as books and pens for the records.”

Group members usually take out loans ranging from RwF 10,000 to RwF 20,000 which are reimbursed within 3 months with a 5% interest rate. The usually take out a loan every 3 months to buy manure for their fields or seeds. They also invest in small animals, insecticide, leasing land plots for agricultural activities, or health insurance.The CBVs are trained in financial education, nutrition and food security, and Bio-Intensive Agricultural Techniques. They all have a kitchen garden at their homes. In addition to agricultural activities, they also invest in entrepreneurship and small businesses.

changing life of a child headed housholdTheoneste Sindikubwabo is 25 years old and living in Kinoni sector, Burera district in the Northern part of Rwanda. He is proud of himself and has a good reason to smile. In 1998, when he was only 6 years old, his parents passed away. He grew up with a lot responsibility as he had to take care of his two younger brothers.

“My life became very hard when my father passed away and one month later my mother died too. I was only 6 years old. I was on my own with my little brothers and we had to struggle very hard to survive as no one in our community helped us”.

Theoneste went to primary school but dropped out at the age of 15 in Primary 5 as the harsh living conditions resulted in him repeating classes. After dropping out of school, he found a job as a housekeeper. He only earned RwF 2,000 ($2.44) per month. He combined this job with farming activities on the neighbor’s land plot, which gave them some food. “This was not enough money to cover our basic needs,” he explained.

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