In the rural district of Nyamasheke,Rwanda, we have identified 100 women with special requirements for support. They have 369 children between them. 77% are HIV Positive, half of those are already sick with AIDS and unable to work in the fields. 42 are widows as a result of the Genocide, military action or AIDS. At least 50 are sex workers. The challenge for these women is to generate income to pay for food, clothes, healthcare and school fees. They are traumatized and lacking in self esteem.
We will create 5 co-operatives, each of 20 women: jewellery making, banana leaf handicrafts, small agriculture, 2nd hand clothes trading & hair weaving, increasing their income from less than $1 to $2 a day. We will support our co-operatives through registration and opening a bank account. We will provide start up capital to each co-operative after training them in democratic procedures & financial management. We will provide members with professional counseling to improve psychological health.
Through the sustainable medium of the co-operative structure,the livelihood conditions of our 100 women and their 369 children will improve, strengthening their ability to send their children to school,buy food, clothes and healthcare for themselves and their children. The physical and psychological health of ALL will be improved. Isolation of this marginalized group of women will reduce, community cohesion will enhance and holistically the future prospects of these women and children will grow.