Better Together

Published on
September 15, 2023 at 5:52:00 PM PDT September 15, 2023 at 5:52:00 PM PDTth, September 15, 2023 at 5:52:00 PM PDT

After her husband died, Rachel wasn’t able to feed her four children on her own, much less pay school fees. The yields from their 10 acre farm were so low.

Rachel and her children live in Ngororero, Rwanda’s second-poorest district. Most people farm for a living, but the acidic soil combined with a high level of erosion on the steep hills makes it very difficult to earn a living from the land. Rachel was in a perpetual state of panic about the future.

“There was a problem of food shortage,” Rachel said. “It was a big problem for me and my family to live in that situation.”

When her community launched a partnership with FH Rwanda, Rachel joined in. “I participated in different FH trainings and received improved maize seeds, livestock, cassava cuttings, and lime [to reduce acidity in the soil]. I also joined a savings group. All those supports helped increase my agricultural productivity which increased my income. I became able to easily pay health insurance for my family, school fees for my children, and buy my own agricultural inputs.”

Rachel's harvests have increased since receiving improved seeds, helping her feed her family and increase her income!

Today, Rachel can feed her family from their farm!

With a loan from her savings group, Rachel bought a hen. By selling eggs, Rachel is increasing her savings and planning to buy more livestock and rebuild the walls of her house.

And, Rachel’s not the only one benefiting from FH partnership!

Before, people were demoralized and full of fear about the future," she explains. "Income was very slow ... Because of mobilization by FH staff, most community members have now started cultivating high-value crops to gain more income. The creation of savings groups in our community empowered members to increase access to and control over resources and use our collective power to overcome social and financial barriers.”

Rachel feels confident that she can rely on her savings group in an emergency—a huge relief for this single mom of four!

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