Celebrating the tenacity of women

On International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, we honor women who courageously love, serve, and invest their God-given skills and talents into their churches, families, workplaces, and communities.

In Rwanda, HOPE serves over 520,000 people—63 percent of whom are women—through microfinance and savings services. To hear how Rwandan women are tackling the challenges of poverty for their families and in their communities, we asked members of HOPE Rwanda’s savings program a few questions.

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Working as a team, Feresiya and her husband own and manage three small businesses—a barber shop, small corner store, and wedding dress rental business—in addition to their vegetable garden.

What makes Rwandan women strong?

I think it is because they have known their worth! They love working and improving themselves, and they love taking responsibility for their families just like men. … [women] can be a big support in the community and in their families.

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Cecile makes and sells paper grocery bags that are used in local markets. A single mother of two after her husband left in 2010, she has worked hard to become a successful entrepreneur and provider for her family.

Why is it important for women to be in a savings group?

When I became a single mother, I was very scared of my future. I didn’t believe I was capable of taking care of my children. But in my savings group, I learned hard work can accomplish anything—I just had to believe in myself. I also learned to trust God more.

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Orphaned at age 14, Florence survived in and out of shelters and people’s homes. She joined a savings group through her local church and now owns a small grocery stand, rents a home for herself, and has big dreams for the future.

Why is it important for women to be in a savings group?

[In our savings group], we start to believe in ourselves. We start to think we can do good things because others in our group say we can do good things.

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Francine owns four homes which she rents out to small local businesses. She uses her extra income to save for higher education for her five boys, all of whom she is very proud.

What can you do to make your community a better place for women?

I can help by encouraging other women—for example, my neighbors or the women at my church—to step out of their homes without fear because they are capable of doing great things.

HOPE Intl

HOPE Intl

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As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered microenterprise development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

2 responses to Celebrating the tenacity of women

  1. Am so grateful for the ministry our Lord has intrusted you with, one thing I like to know is it possible to establish a branch here in my country Liberia. My reason is this program is also need in my country so I want you to consider my request . Thanks for your consideration

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