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January 11, 2012, 2:49 p.m. (EST) – Kigali, Rwanda

I arrived in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, in the mid-afternoon today, after about 24 hours on the move. The flights were amazingly uneventful—praise the Lord!—and I’m excited to be in Rwanda for the first time. This is the home of our largest savings program, a church partnership with the Rwandan Anglican Church, and I will spend most of the next two days in the field watching our savings groups in action. I will also be visiting Urwego Opportunity Bank, one of the largest microfinance institutions in the HOPE network. Continue Reading…


Juduh’s son was just four years old when her husband became ill and passed away. From that point, she alone was responsible to provide for him. In 2001, she joined a savings group in Rwanda, where she received support, a safe place to accumulate her money, and the opportunity to receive loans from her group. Today she continues to contribute 40 cents a week to her group’s savings. She accessed a loan of $86, which she used to purchase bananas and beans. She can buy a bunch of bananas or a bag of beans for $17, reselling them for a profit. She now earns $11 a week and can afford health insurance and her son’s secondary school fees. Juduh has joined a Bible study and has come to depend on the fellowship she experiences in her group.


Immaculee hopes to one day purchase her own home. Through her HOPE Rwanda savings group, she is gaining experience at saving for a significant goal. Through her savings, she was able to purchase a sewing machine for $93. She’d like to purchase an even better machine, with several sewing functions, and open her own tailoring school in her community.

Jean Luis Kemdi

Jean Luis Kemdi shares a home with his parents and 10 other family members, and he lives a somewhat typical life for a 12-year-old in Haiti. But he has big dreams for the future. As one of the youngest members of HOPE Haiti’s savings groups, each week he saves 25 cents. When he has saved enough, he hopes to buy a goat to breed. Jean Luis, whose mother is also a savings group member, said he dreams of opening his own business to sell livestock. He also shares the lessons he has learned with others in his family. “I have learned from the group about transparency, trust, leadership, and management,” he says. “I talk with my parents to show them how it’s very important to save money. For example, if you have 50 gourde [approximately $1.24], it’s better to save 25 and use 25.” Jean Luis also places his faith in Jesus Christ. “You can find all you need in Jesus,” he says.