GISAGARA – Women in the sectors of Save and Kibilizi, in Gisagara District, have pledged to work harder to find solutions to problems facing them.
The women, under the Inganzabunebwe group, made the pledge, last Thursday, during a ceremony to celebrate their achievements.
During the function which also coincided with the second anniversary of the association, the group, composed of 1,445 members, noted that they had benefited a lot through their solidarity and teamwork.
They noted that they had managed to improve their social welfare, and vowed to sensitise their neighbours about the benefits of working together.
“Previously, we were poorly dressed, not concerned with hygiene and sanitation and lived in deplorable conditions. But today, we have changed, both economically and socially,” said Vestine Nikuze, the group’s representative.
“We started with a monthly contribution of Rwf100 per person, but today, we have managed to buy over 32 cows and 801 goats for our members. Our social wellbeing has dramatically improved and we do assist anyone of us whenever possible.”
The group, composed of over 118 sub-groups of about ten people each, started out in 2006 with the help of the African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE), a faith-based NGO.
In 2009, the sub-groups formed one entity, dubbed Inganzabunebwe, with the aim of improving their wellbeing through income-generating activities and sensitisation campaigns on various topics, including family planning, children’s right and the fight against HIV/Aid and Malaria, among others.
According to the women, the group has helped them to raise their income levels.
“Discussion with other members and the various training programmes we have attended have opened our minds. We have learnt that the savings culture does not require you to have excessive money, but that with the little you earn, you can still save for your future. I have been able to buy a cow which helped increase my agricultural production through the use of manure,” testified Josee Nyirampakaniye of Munazi Cell.
“I call upon everyone to join associations or cooperatives because they are good development platforms.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Gisagara District vice mayor in charge of economic affairs, Esron Hategekimana, commended the group and urged them to form a cooperative as a way of protecting their wealth from any possible embezzlement or mismanagement.