Kind People team member at work
As reported directly from the field:
Global Grassroot's women's group, United People and Kind People led by two different groups of remarkable women report in on their progress as 2015 begins.
The Venture, United People, located in the Southern Province of Rwanda, is working with four groups of beneficiaries who are engaging in tailoring, making handcrafts with banana leaves, and carpets and small baskets with sisal as a way of raising money to train couples about gender balance and domestic violence. The group describes many challenges such as the issue of finding the right place to sell their items and only having the use of one sewing machine.
The team reports that some of their goals in working to reduce domestice violence have been achieved. After training several women in making handcrafts they were able to award domesticated animals to couples whose behavior had changed the most significantly. Additionally the group was able to mobilize women to participate in income generating projects as a way of reducing their economical dependence, often the biggest trigger of violence.
The team trained a total of 40 couples who were most affected by domestic violence its causes and its consequences. They taught 35 women to make handicrafts who are now able to generate income that is helping them with the basic needs for their families. Five community members were taught sewing, and were then able to earn money from what they made.
Kind People, also located in the Southern Provence, in the Kabagali Sector, is also working to alleviate the root causes of domestic violence. Their focus is on protecting women’s rights and promoting legal marriages by training men and women about the laws protecting the family and creating clubs to advocate for women’s rights.
One member described, "After getting training on social entrepreneurship by Global Grassroots our dreams of fighting violence in the community came true because of the grant which Global Grassroots offered to us..." The team also describes a split. Seven team members decided to stop their work for a number of different reasons, including, for instance, the fact that they changed their residences, and some realized they did not have a natural affinity to being a change agent.
The remaining eight members are firmly committed and have created a conflict resolution commission, which helps them follow up with those cases after they are taken to the local authority. The Conflict Resolution Commission allows Kind People to assist in problem solving and they have weekly meetings.
- 70% of couples in Imudugudu say that violence has decreased.
- 65% of women who attended the training have the right to access their property.
- Half of the couples who were illegally married at the beginning of the training decided to legalize their marriages
- 75% of couples are still together after training provided by the members.
The team is fundraising with the goal of reducing the amount of monthly dues requested of group members. Any donations would do towards this. And if enough money is raised the group would like to rent an office rather than meet in the house of a team member. Additionally, the team reports that because they are all over 50 years old they would like to bring their program to youth as a priority in the coming year.
The team is deeply grateful for the generosity of those who have contributed to date and feels continually blessed by your consideration. They extend their heartfelt thanks.
The Kind People team
United Team Members
Recently made handicrafts of United Team members
Handicraft making to support domestic violence