By Milton Funes, Country Director, Global Communities Rwanda
Twenty years ago, Rwanda experienced a brutal genocide that ripped the country apart. Nevertheless today, in so many ways, Rwanda is an impressive emerging African economic power. The country has experienced phenomenal development in the last decade, including high economic growth and poverty reduction. Between 2001 and 2012, GDP growth averaged 8% a year, according to the World Bank.
Still, large pockets of poverty remain, especially in rural areas. Many young people are orphans of the genocide, or from the effects of HIV and AIDS. Farmland is not plentiful and there is insufficient knowledge in financial literacy and agricultural techniques. Rwandans, particularly the very young and very old, remain vulnerable to economic and health shocks.
This is one of the reasons why, since 2005, Global Communities, a nonprofit organization working to assist the vulnerable around the world, has implemented programs that help Rwandans build their resilience. With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), we are able to help these communities improve their conditions. In partnership with local partners on the ground, we teach them how to implement Bio Intensive Agriculture Techniques, hygiene, and how to improve their nutrition. We teach skills to help them build their livelihoods, augment their financial literacy and enhance their life skills as a way of helping them...