Since I come to Africa only once a year, it is easy to see the progress made in our projects from year to year. This makes me feel confident that all of our efforts and those of our local partners are worth it, in most cases. Today, under a lovely tree on a farm off of a quiet dirt road just outside of Kigali, we visited one such project.
The Murama Pig and Rabbit Cooperative started as just a pig cooperative, then grew to include chickens (which unfortunately all died from a disease that swept the region), then rabbits and now goats and a cow. In addition to that, what started as program to teach and provide nutrition for local children turned into a very successful revolving fund, which means they have a group that contributes monthly and then gives micro-loans to amongst themselves. The following are some examples of the women who really understand the system and have used the loans to increase their incomes:
VENRANEDA: She took one loan to buy 5 bags of beans. From the profit, she bought 2 goats. She took a second loan to buy sorghum and beans and the profits will be used to buy livestock.
CLAUDINE: She took a loan to grow tomatoes and her profits quadrupled the amount of the loan. With that, she bought two goats and two chickens. She took out a second loan to buy sorghum and, with the profit, she will buy more chickens. Meat is too expensive for most villagers and eggs are what most people can afford to eat for protein.
If you want to learn more about this project, visit http://staging.pilotlightfund.org/wordpressgallery/pig-rabbit-farming/
Tomorrow morning, very early, we will leave Kigali and drive into Western Uganda. I feel that this blog may not be complete, but I really need to go to sleep…Stay tuned for more…