As part of this year’s International Women’s Day, Kigali City on Monday rewarded top women groups and individual achievers in the districts of Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge for their tremendous efforts in fighting poverty.
The cash rewards totaling Rwf1.2m were handed over by Bellancilla Nyinawankusi, the National Women Council (CNF) coordinator in Kigali City at events held in various parts of the city.
Those awarded were Abakundanye Association in Jali, Gasabo District, Abanyarukundo Cooperative Society in Kimisagara, Nyarugenge District and a 67-year-old Genevieve Iryanyawera of Kicukiro, the only individual awarded.
They each received a cheque of Rwf 400,000.
Abakundanye is a group of over 60 women, formerly street vendors commonly known as ‘abanyadutaro’ who formed an association through which they formed their own market.
Each of the women now earns about Rwf 50,000 per month. They also started a scheme where one woman is given Rwf30,000 a day on a rotational basis.
The 37 women in Abanyarukundo of Muhoza hill that has among its members genocide survivors and HIV infected persons, started as an association two years ago contributing only Rwf200 monthly.
They then started various income generating projects like tailoring and now each earn at least Rwf 25,000 a month.
Iryanyawera, a genocide survivor and mother of six of Taba village in Niboye Sector, was also awarded for managing to pull herself out of poverty.
Iryanyawera, whose husband and some of her children were killed in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was given a cow as dowry for her daughter back in 2003.
From the one cow, she now had six and earns over Rwf 100,000 monthly from milk sales only. She also has biogas site that she uses both for cooking and lighting.
Nyinawankusi called on the women to embrace this year’s theme; ‘Equal rights, Equal opportunities: Progress for all’ to develop themselves and the country in general.
“Do not use this chance to undermine your husbands… instead; it is time to also support them in their positive ideas. Development is for us all and the future of Rwanda is in hands of both women and men,” Nyinawankusi said.
Jacqueline Niyonsaba, the president of Abakundanye association said that vacating the streets has helped them support their families even better.
“Street vending was life threatening because we used to run up and down fearing to be arrested, which at times resulted into accidents as some of us would be ran over by vehicles,” Niyonsaba said.
“But now we even earn more than what we used to get and we have managed to construct a market by ourselves”.