Archives For Rwanda

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re more aware than ever of the critical role that essential businesses—and the entrepreneurs running them—play. Across the HOPE network, men and women use their businesses to provide necessary goods and services, and as they do, they not only provide for their own families but often become known as leaders in their church and community. Continue Reading…

by Colton Parks, Communications Fellow (HOPE Rwanda)

Everyone has their way of describing the unique times we find ourselves in today. For me, like many, the word is uncertain.

Uncertainty underlies my thoughts about job security, schools re-opening, the timeline for the virus spread to wane, the stock market, and a host of other facets of life I previously took for granted. I feel uncertain about what this pandemic means, and that feeling is present when I fall asleep, and it’s there when I wake up.

A few months ago, I was in a village called Mugina, visiting savings group members and hearing their stories. My third interview of the day was with a woman named Speciose. After greeting us, she guided us gently down a hill to her home, a small building nestled in the shadow of a much larger structure that was without a roof. The larger, open-air home stood empty, a shell of a house, exposed to the rain and wind. Almost a year before, a storm had pried off the entire roof and sent it flying, and the smaller house had served as a temporary shelter for Speciose and her husband ever since. Continue Reading…

by Robert Gonza, Quality Assurance Officer (HOPE Rwanda)

When I started working with HOPE Rwanda, I didn’t know if I believed in savings groups.

My job in quality assurance includes interacting with our field partner staff, training them about quality assurance processes like reporting documents, attending monthly mentoring meetings, and visiting and encouraging saving groups. I enjoyed my job and my team, but I was not always very sure how savings groups were transforming people’s lives.

Almost anyone you ask at HOPE Rwanda will be quick to share the statistics of how the saving groups are transforming lives—how many families we serve, how much they’ve saved, the number of cows, goats, and pigs they’ve purchased with their savings. Three years later, I now myself could share all these things. And I thought that the numbers were the most important things about these savings groups.

But I was wrong. They are about way more than just the savings, the number of loans, or those who attended the meeting—or pigs or cows. Continue Reading…

Dried apricot, raspberry, brown sugar. No, these aren’t candle scents; they’re the delicate flavors of specialty coffees sourced from the highlands of Burundi and Rwanda. In my very caffeinated opinion, coffees from these two hilly countries in East Africa are among the world’s most delicious, and yes, they even fight poverty. Continue Reading…

At HOPE International, we have the joy of joining hardworking men and women as they glean the fruit of their labors—literally! From plantain farmers to greenhouse owners, see people rejoicing in this season of abundance. Continue Reading…

If American people see that kid, they will think he’s really poor.”

My Rwandan colleague’s words jerked me out of my reverie.

Bumping along a rural Rwandan road, my eyes tried to absorb it all—the undulating hills, the downy clouds that dotted the wide-open sky, the goats and chickens. My eyes caught on a little boy running in front of a row of houses.

The little boy wore only a pair of shabby shorts that appeared to have once been khaki-colored. Reddish dust covered his body from his cheeks to his feet. I noticed that he was barefoot. Continue Reading…