The Global Fund project aims to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Malaria and Tuberculosis as well as promoting family planning and general reproductive health. The project is active in the remote, rural area of Nyamasheke and will span three years. We address the issue of disease prevention through the creation of co-operatives: linking training in positive behavioural change to activities which lift people out of poverty.
We support co-operatives to become officially recognised, train them in entrepreneurial skills and financial management and provide them with start up capital for income generating activities. We go even further by reaching out to beneficiaries through door to door campaigns and through the media – especially radio – to facilitate the effective prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Inspire and Empower 100 Rural Women in Rwanda in 100 Days
Our project is for 100 very vulnerable women living in the remote, rural district of Nyamasheke. We have set up 5 co-operatives and every member has received start up capital. These co-operatives started generating income immediately, improving their living conditions and those of their children. We are providing intensive counselling – over a 3 month period – for trauma recovery and for sustainable future development.
The 100 women we are working with have 369 children between them. Of the 100 women, 77 are HIV positive, half of those are already sick with AIDS and are unable to work in the fields. The established role of these rural women is to work 8 – 10 hours a day using traditional methods ie. hoes and scythes. 42 women are widows as a result of the Genocide, military action or AIDS. At least 50 were sex workers.
The challenge for these women is to generate income to pay for food, clothes, healthcare and school fees. They are traumatised and lacking in self esteem.
Each co-operative is made up of 20 women and all have been trained to operate using the democratic process of electing a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The co-operatives are officially registered and have formal bank accounts. They will be involved in small, quick turnover, food based businesses selling fruit, vegetables, fish, rice, beans and kawunga. These activities will increase their income from less than $1 a week.
Education Development Centre
Our Educational Development Centre project is designed to improve the lives of young people who – due to difficult life circumstances – have no opportunities for employment. Many of our trainees have no parents, none have been able to finish secondary school and all are in a state of poverty.
From our centres in Kigali, we work to empower 100 of these vulnerable young people per year. Currently, we train students in “work readiness” preparing them for life in the work place. This training includes entrepreneurial and financial skills – enabling our students to work for themselves if they choose.
Students receive skills training in computer literacy and maintenance and repair of computers. They also learn photography, filming and music technology. These subjects have been chosen to match skills gaps in the current jobs market in Rwanda. The trainees carry out internship programmes in different organisations in the public and private sector. 30 of our first cohort have already found employment!