On Friday March 8, 2019, staff of I&M Bank Rwanda visited Women for Women International to celebrate and honor International Women’s Day.
The event that took place at the headquarters of Women for Women International in Kimihurura was attended by some staff members at Women for Women, graduates of Women for Women program and staff members from I&M Bank.
During the visit, members from the two institutions discussed issues regarding vulnerable women and l &M Bank pledged to support Women for Women International in helping women emancipate themselves from poverty.
After testimonies from some of the women who underwent the program, I&M Bank Rwanda donated Rwf 2,000,000 to the NGO and all members present shared a cake to honor International Women’s Day.
According to the CEO of I&M Bank, Robin Bairstow, they chose to visit Women for Women International because it is amongst the organization that plays a big role in helping Rwandan women fight poverty.
“When I came to Rwanda, this was the first institution I visited and realized how they touch the lives of women in Rwanda. We really want to be part of that change and I&M will continue to support them in their mission,” said Bairstow.
He added that over 90% of the women multiply their wealth more than twice after undergoing financial training in the program which has a big impact on their families. “When a woman is empowered financially, it means that the whole family is going to benefit plus the impact goes much further. They learn to be more confident and to fit in society with ease,” added Bairstow.
Clemence Bideri, responsible for women development at Women for Women International, said they are grateful for what I&M has done for the organization. “This donation is really a great surprise on a day like this. International Women’s Day means a lot for an organization like ours because our target group is women. For a financial institution like I&M Bank coming to us with such a donation is not to be taken for granted and we are really grateful,” said Bideri.
While giving her testimony, Nyiransabimana Eliane, who graduated from the program in 2010, said that if it had not been for Women for Women International, she would still be lost to the world like she was before joining their program. “I joined Women for Women in 2009 and at the time I was nothing, with very low self-esteem because I was among the poorest. During the program we were taught to take care of ourselves and how to read and write before being trained to acquire vocational skills,” said Nyiransabimana.
Today, Nyiransabimana has successfully emancipated herself from poverty. “I have managed to pay Mutuelle for my family and to take my kids to good boarding schools. My husband can now have access to medicine and I have bought a plot in the city of Kigali,” she said amidst tears of joy.
Since 1997, Women for Women International has developed a program that offers Rwandan women a constructive, dignified way to regain control of their lives. Through the support of their foundational training, women come to know and defend their rights and change their status.
Women for Women International Rwanda has served more than 76,000 women through their year-long program. Its foundational training helps women know and defend their rights, influence decisions at home and in their communities, initiate activities that generate income, and save money for the future, contributing to economic self-sufficiency in their lives and for their families.
Contributing to the Rwandan government’s Vision 2020 and Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Women’s Opportunity Center integrates economic transformation, rural development, and productivity, in a space of learning and renewal for women in the Kayonza area and beyond.