- Bugesera District, Rwanda
Murama is a village located in the Bugesera district in eastern Rwanda. The village is one of the poorest regions in Rwanda with an average annual income of under 150.00 USD. It is home to 100 households and approximately 5,000 people. Unlike most of rural Rwanda where individual homesteads are scattered across the hilly landscape, Murama has several umudugudus (settlements) of closely spaced dwellings.
The government built these settlements after the 1994 genocide in order to house genocide survivors and returnees. Only 5 km from the village, close to 20,000 people were massacred during the 100 days of killing. As the country continues its difficult but remarkable recovery from the genocide, Murama is living proof that economic development can play a significant role in the reconciliation process.
Determining the right crop. The tightly spaced dwellings of Murama, make food production and farming difficult. Pilot Light worked with members to determine collectively grown crops with market viability that could enhance unity and provide it’s members with an income and a stable food source for the community
Choosing Pigs and Rabbits. Members can take advantage of local markets. The High pork prices in neighboring Nyamata and the city of Kigali. provide an excellent market for the pork raised by the Murama Pig Cooperative. Rabbits quickly provide a much needed food source for the community. High in protein it is a key factor in battling malnutrition in children of Murama.
A Growing success. From 12 sows and one boar. The cooperative has grown. As of April 2015 there were 195 pigs in total. This farm is being used as a demonstration farm. Networks are formed when other farmers come for trainings. In June 2015, the Cooperative opened a butchery. Processed pork yields higher profits. The aim is to make Murama an area that specializes in pigs and rabbits
Healthier Families. For the 45 households of the Murama Pig & Rabbit Cooperative, basic needs of food and shelter can now be met.
Enhanced Business Skills/Shared learning. Learning best business practices that can be shared to benefit the entire community.
Community Unity. Common goals and shared prosperity build secure interdependent communities.
Sustainable for the next Generation. Pig Farming creates a business that can be passed to the next generation.
Access To Village Savings & Loans. Increased access to economic resources ensures self-sufficiency and creates feedback loops that enable communities to grow together.