Mushroom Farming for Rwandan Families



The Nyanya grandmothers, located in the Jabana Hills of Rwanda, currently have three agricultural projects: two pepper growing projects and one mushroom growing project. The Nyanya Project is interested in starting another mushroom project for multiple reasons. To date, selling mushrooms yields the highest income for the grandmothers. Furthermore, it will provide sustainable income and independence for our grandmothers while offering economical, nutritional, and practical benefits.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

In Africa millions of grandmothers face overwhelming challenges brought on by the AIDS orphan crisis. In Kenya there are 2.5 million orphans; 900,000 have been orphaned by AIDS. It is estimated that 90% of these orphans are in the care of extended family, and at least 50% are cared for by their grandmothers. Under the strain of caring for up to 10 or more children, these older women struggle to continue working in their traditional capacities- thus the cycle of poverty is intensified.

How will this project solve this problem?

For economic reasons, mushrooms are ideal because we already have a target market for the mushroom harvest since this will be the second mushroom project for the Jabana Hills group. In terms of the mushrooms currently harvesting, our grandmothers are making an additional $3.25 a week and believe that $8 a month is a very realistic possibility. Upon reaching the goal of earning $8 a month from harvesting, the TNP grandmothers will have successfully more than doubled their previous income.

Potential Long Term Impact

We understand the cyclical nature of families. If we can contribute towards the success of African grandmothers, there is a greater chance that the grandmothers will have the resources to send their grandchildren to school, promoting the future success of the grandchildren. As one grandmother reflected, "The Nyanya Project will help me develop myself in terms of different skills and this will help me raise my granddaughter. Through her own education, her descendants would be stronger too."

Funding Information

This project has been retired and is no longer accepting donations.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Retired Project

This project is no longer accepting donations.

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The Nyanya Project

Winston-Salem, NC, United States

Project Leader

Mary Martin Niepold

Founder and President
Winston-Salem, NC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Mushroom Farming for Rwandan Families
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