We’d like to update our past, current, and hopefully future donors as to what is happening with our GIFTS Rwanda. In the small village of Rugarika, where most of our focus rests, we are thrilled that the villagers themselves are now coming up with good solid sustainable ideas on how to make a real long term difference in their lives for the future.
The villagers’ most recent endeavor is a small soap making business. Supplies were purchased, soap produced, and the soap is being sold to schools, churches, and families. This business will continue with some profits set aside for more supplies. Twelve women also spearheaded an idea to make intricate beaded purses, and after buying supplies, and training for 3 weeks, this took off well. Purses were completed, sold, and more supplies for further production purchased. This still left extra money for food, school fees, and supplies for each family. It is clear that these dear women were very proud of their idea, and that it is successful and ongoing.
These two newer projects walk alongside past projects which we have continued to fund, such as building several new houses each year, purchasing cows, goats, chickens, garden tools and seeds for even more community gardens, and providing health care for 200+ families. We have learned that pigs are not a good idea as they run away, so they have been discontinued. This year’s house was a duplex for two sisters and their families. Again, a new idea brought up to us by the men to provide 2 houses in 1 for a better price.
The past 4 years we have had a dream to sponsor a chicken farm, which will cost $6,166. We have a donor sponsoring $1000 of this already. Yay! Brigitte Mukanyandwi , who is one of our directors of GIFTS in Rugarika, started up a chicken farm of her own 5 years ago with her husband, Jerome, and they are willing to donate baby chickens for this project.