The women have also hailed the support from KOICA-UPG Kira Wigire, which supported them to graduate from poverty in one year and half.
KOICA-Ultra Poor Graduation Project (UPG) Kira Wigire is a project of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), implemented by World Vision. It seeks to uplift women-headed households from poverty.
The appreciation was made at a Behavioral Change Campaign and Annual Stakeholders meeting held early this week.
The event was meant to celebrate achievements with the women who were supported, and take stock of the progress of the KOICA UPG, a three-year project that has been under implementation since March 2021.
In March last year, World Vision selected women-headed households under extreme poverty to benefit from the project.
The women, who had little hope for the future were trained on best farming techniques and encouraged to create saving groups.
To pave the way for a better future, World Vision rented a farmland for each selected women heading households to grow fruits and vegetables. World Vision also provided them with seeds and farming equipment including hoes, watering cans, rakes and plastic containers to collect the harvest.
Angelique Mukabalisa had started negotiations to be hired as a domestic servant by the time ‘Kira Wigire’ project was introduced. After training on best farming techniques, she stared growing fruits and vegetables which helped her to join saving groups.
The woman living in Mushubati Sector, efficiently utilized earnings from her farming activities and bought seven goats at different times. She later sold them and bought a cow.
“I harvest enough for home consumption and make surplus for market. I also earn profits from sales of agriculture yields bought from other farmers. This has helped me to save at least Rwf 5,000 every week. The total amount of my savings has reached Rwf 120,000 and plan to continue doing so to pave the way for a brighter tomorrow,” Mukabalisa.
The project has also provided financial support. Eugenie Nzamukosha from was living in a dilapidated house constructed of bricks without doors. Her children rarely went to school, as they could not get food often.
The mother of seven once received a total amount of Rwf 70,000 as financial support allocated to members of her household for two months.
She used the money to start a business of selling bananas. Nzamukosha would buy a bunch of green bananas at Rwf 5,000, which generated Rwf 3,000 in profits. The mother used the money to meet household needs and make savings.
As her group shared members’ savings, Nzamukosha received Rwf 120, 000 that she used along with Rwf 80,000 from agricultural produce, to buy a cow. She has since bought another cow, making it three.
“I was hit hard and could not afford paying for Mutuelle de Santé before receiving the support. However, my life has changed for good. I have already paid next year’s subscription for the community health based insurance, for all household members,” she revealed.
Nzamukosha has become food secure and ably caters for children’s school fees and other scholastic materials. She has renovated her house and bought small livestock including goats and pigs.
Jacques Nyabyenda, one of the extension workers under ‘Kira Wigire’ disclosed that the women heading households, have saved more than Rwf 25 million, since the beginning of this project.
Of the 300 households; 40 have bought cows, 59 have bought farmlands, 71 bought goats, 48 have pigs, 2 bought sewing machines, one bough a bicycle to carry agricultural yields while 109 families rented farmlands.
Raymond Uwiragiye, the Representative of World Vision in Rutsiro and Ngororero has said that the project seeks, among other things, to eliminate stunting, transform citizens’ mindsets so that they can work hard to overcome poverty.
“We want to see transformation respective communities, transform people’s mindsets and empower them on how it is possible to graduate from poverty,” he said.
Jean Baptiste Uwihanganye, a member of Rutsiro District advisory council, who represented the mayor at the event, said that the impact of the project among beneficiaries is self-evident. He revealed that they have become smart citizens currently as they willingly participate in government’s programs, subscribe for Mutuelle de Santé, provide contributions in Ejo Heza saving scheme.
The US$1,345,000 project is rolled out in 2 out of 13 sectors of Rustiro District.