Following the signature of sub-agreements with three local Rwandan NGOs for USAID Twiyubake, Global Communities hosted a one-day orientation workshop on October 21, 2015, with representatives from Young Women’s Christian Association of Rwanda (YWCA), DUHAMIC ADRI and Eglise Presbytérienne au Rwanda (EPR).

In his opening remarks, Milton Funes, Global Communities Country Director, stated: “This workshop is an occasion to connect to colleagues and establish relationships. Global Communities is looking for performance and quality for the deliverables. We will build on a strong partnership and we will continue building your capacities”.

USAID Twiyubake is building on the former USAID Higa Ubeho program. The program will identify and assist 50,000 vulnerable households (around 250,000 children, youth and adults), reduce their economic vulnerability, empower parents to make investment to meet the unique needs of young children and adolescents, and provide health promotion and clinical linkage services to 12 administrative districts. The program efforts are concentrated in districts with high level of children vulnerability and HIV/AIDS prevalence.

The geographic coverage has been determined in consultation with the Government of Rwanda, following the Most Vulnerable Children (MVC) data base from the National Commission for Children (NCC), HIV prevalence and the existence of other USAID funded programs in districts. Once the children will be identified, the entire household will have access to the program as needed.

The program will be focusing on health promotion, clinical-community linkages and referrals, providing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment package in line with individual needs. Global Communities will be using a cascading approach for the broad outreach to rural communities. With support of the program, vulnerable households could become resilient within a two-year period, although some households may need long term support.

The program will use geographic information technology like Global Positioning System (GPS) to collect rural household data and map out their geographical location. USAID Twiyubake is implemented by a consortium of four international NGOs, which are Partners in Health, Plan International, AVSI and Global Communities, bringing together their expertise in the different program areas. 

The youth of Rutsiro celebrated the launch of a new saving product, locally known as Iteganyirize Rubyiruko, developed by Global Communities Ejo Heza in partnership with COOPEC INKUNGA, at the International Saving Day held at Mucyebera Stadium, Gihanga Sector, on October 28, 2015. This year’s theme is “Saving, make it a culture”.

Among speeches from representatives of COOPEG INKUNGA, MINECOFIN, the Mayor of Rutsiro and Global Communities Ejo Heza, the youth of Rutsiro promoted the new product, a culture of saving and building income generating activities through dances, songs, poems and drama play.

Iteganyirize Rubyiruko is designed to connect youth in rural areas to formal financial services and to support them in business development in line with Rwanda’s second Financial Sector Development Program (FSDPII).

The initiative started in August 2015 and mobilized already 756 young people between 14-35 years in 30 different saving groups in Rutsiro and Karongi districts. COOPEC INKUNGA, a regional microfinance institution operating in the Western Province of Rwanda will expand the new product in all its regions of operation.

On October 16, 2015, Global Communities Rwanda signed sub-agreements with three local Rwandan NGOs for USAID’s PEPFAR funded Rwanda Improved Services for Vulnerable Populations (ISVP) program, locally known as “Twiyubake”.

The sub-agreements, renewable each year upon successful performance, have been granted to Young Women's Christian Association of Rwanda (YWCA), DUHAMIC ADRI and Eglise Presbytérienne au Rwanda (EPR).

The three local NGOs have already been implementers of the Global Communities former USAID PEPFAR funded Higa Ubeho program, which successfully improved livelihood of more than 75,000 households in 23 of the 30 districts in Rwanda.

USAID Twiyubake is building on the former USAID Higa Ubeho program. The program will identify and assist 50,000 vulnerable households (around 250,000 children, youth and adults), reduce their economic vulnerability, empower parents to make investment to meet the unique needs of young children and adolescents, and provide health promotion and clinical linkage services to 12 administrative districts.

The program will create linkages and referrals between health centers and community based services and work on HIV prevention, focusing on the communities, to achieve PEPFAR’s ambitious goal towards an AIDS free generation.

Global Communities will be using a cascading approach for the broad outreach to rural communities and on the long haul build the capacity and competitiveness of the local NGO.

Milton Funes, Global Communities Country Director, revealed to the signing partners: “While you will be implementing USAID Twiyubake Program activities, we will continue building your capacities. Following successful implementation of the program, the aim is that you become direct recipients of USAID funding towards the end of this project.

Global Communities will award contracts to three additional local NGOs to cover the remaining districts in which the program will be rolled out.

On October 6, Ngororero District celebrated the close out event of a two-year public private partnership program between the Walmart Foundation and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), implemented by Global Communities. The partnership provided technical skills on agriculture best practices to farmers, especially women, involved in maize, beans, fruits and dairy value chains and worked to improve nutritional outcomes in the targeted districts.

The celebration took place in the gardens of Muhororo Sector together with program beneficiaries, district officials, and representatives from Caritas Rwanda and Global Communities. The event featured dances, songs, drama, testimonies and speeches from the program beneficiaries showcasing Ngororero communities’ new ownership and leadership.

Ngororero’s close out event is one in a series of close out events in eight districts of the Southern and Western Provinces of Rwanda in which the program was implemented.

Global Communities implemented the public-private partnership program in Ngororero District through Caritas Rwanda, a local partner. Caritas Rwanda field officers trained community volunteers, known as “Be the Change Volunteers”, who were key in the program implementation and who trained the beneficiary famer.

Faustin Gatera, Ejo Heza Coordinator at Caritas, explained that he is very satisfied with what the Walmart Foundation and USAID funded program achieved in such a short time. He stated that in only 2 years, Caritas field officers trained 152 “Be the Change Volunteers” who have communicated their knowledge to 6910 Ngorerero District farmers. When breaking it down: 28 “Be the Change Volunteers” trained 70 farmers working in maize and beans value chains, 21 trained 1060 farmers in fruit and vegetable planting and 103 trained 5150 farmers in milk production handling. Out of the 6,910 farmers, 100 received a training in small entrepreneurship and 46 individuals have created a saving and lending association in which Rwf 1,300,000 (US$ 1,776) have been saved so far. In addition, 214 kitchen gardens were created, and 116 cow sheds were renovated.

“Before the program started, farmers harvested on average 20 kg of beans and maize per season; now with the new knowledge they harvest 150 kg per season. The same for the milk production in the dairy value chain; prior to the program, farmers milked 1 liter per day from a cow, now with better knowledge of animal health, a proper feeding, clean sheds and a better disease control, the same cow gives on average 5-7 l milk a day,” Faustin Gatera, Ejo Heza Coordinator at Caritas, added.

“I appreciated most the creation of our kitchen gardens next to our homes! We grow spinach, peppers and cabbages which are only designated for own consumption and not to sell on the markets as we did it before, when we restricted ourselves from our own food to earn additional income. Before, we also grew spinaches on our fields but we did not pay much attention to them as we did not know how healthy they are. Today, we know that a pregnant women should eat several small meals during a day, and it is even accepted in our community”, Claudine Umuhoza, a spokesperson among the beneficiaries, acknowledged.

A project booklet has been left at the district with all contacts of the “Be the Change Volunteers”. They will now work together with government officials to share their knowledge with other farmers. “Although the Walmart funded part of the program ended, USAID funded Ejo Heza program will take over some of the program components until it will close next year“, stated Waringa Kibe, Project Coordinator of Global Communities Ejo Heza Program.

Emmanuel Mazimpaka, Deputy Mayor in charge of Economic Development in Ngorerero District, is proud to announce that Ngororero district was ranked third among the country 30 districts for fulfilling their national performance contracts signed for the year 2014-2015 before the President of the Republic, addressing country priorities as reducing poverty and increasing economic performance at the grass root level. “We therefore acknowledge the Walmart and USAID funded program as it helped us in this endeavor. Now, the trained farmers of Ngorerero will assist our district in training other villagers and our aim is to be ranked first at next year’s national performance contract evaluation, which will take place in June 2016,” he said.

In recognition for their good performance in training farmers, Global Communities jointly with the  district of Ngororero handed out certificates of achievements to every “Be the Change Volunteer”.

 Connect with Us  Facebook7Twitter7