Creating Awareness in Canada of Survivors in Rwanda!
What we do:
Raise awareness of issues facing Survivors of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda
Raise funds in support of community-based initiatives in Rwanda that will advance education, promote gender equality and assist Survivors and their communities to become self sufficient.
Offer the opportunity for Canadians to make a difference in Rwanda through donations of time, skills, and money.
This green and mountainous East African country has endured a turbulent past. Most recently in 1994, over 800,000 people were killed in a genocide against the Tutsi. Almost a third of Rwanda's children became orphans, and too few have access to education beyond the primary level. In addition, like many countries in Africa, HIV/AIDS, malaria and poverty are a constant.
Remarkably, against this backdrop of conflict and turmoil, hope is flourishing. Rwanda is rebuilding and reinventing itself, although there are still problems to overcome including tragic lack of education, particularly for girls, and supporting widows to regain their lives which will transfer into supports for families and whole communities. It is these types of projects which INSPIRE!africa is supporting.
Youth Entrepreneurship Micro Finance Loans
Youth who have graduated from the youth entrepreneurship training program, and have a solid business plan, can access a micro-finance loan to get their business going. The success rate for repayment is very high and the small interest charged ensures the loan program is sustainable.
Compact solar lights allow Rwanda's seniors living in rural areas to socialize or make crafts in the evening and the children they are can do their homework. These lights have added benefit of being able to charge cellphones which everyone relies on in Rwanda. Thanks to these lights, recipients will not have to pay for costly kerosene or candles or be at risk of fire or hazardous smoke.
Provides support to youth struggling with trauma as a result of the genocide. Telephone operators, on a toll-free line are trained to handle calls from survivors seeking emotional counselling.
Houses for Widows
Providing funds to renovate or build new houses for widows currently living in terrible conditions. This will enable them to live their lives without worrying about basic shelter.
Legal-Aid counselors assist youth to recover land which was confiscated during the genocide either by the government, those who murdered their family or other family members.
Youth Entrepreneurship Training Program (2012-2017)
University students who survived the genocide were trained to develop business plans and given support and coaching necessary to start their own business. The program was offered at 5 universities with 150 students benefitting from the program.
Aspire Rwanda (2015-2017)
Aspire Rwanda helps vulnerable but resilient women rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Rwanda's genocide. Aspire Rwanda trains women in literacy, English, nutrition and cooking, business skills, commercial agriculture, rights, and advocacy. The program equips them with knowledge, skills, confidence and the support network they need to become self-sufficient and empowered.
Student Sponsorships (2009-2020)
A total of 18 youth orphans of the genocide were provided with the opportunity to complete their secondary school and attend a Rwandan university or vocational training program. All have successfully graduated and moved on to building a future for themselves and their families.
INSPIRE!africa Sponsored Projects
Days for Girls
We know that many young girls in Third World countries do not finish their schooling. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that they have no adequate way of caring for themselves during their menstrual periods. Days for Girls, an American organization, has created a practical and attractive, washable and reusable fabric menstrual hygiene kit.
Eveline Goodall, a retired social worker and INSPIRE!Africa volunteer, travelled to Rwanda with INSPIRE initially in 2014 where she taught a series of classes on Sexual Health with Ivy Fraser, another INSPIRE volunteer.
Returning in 2016, Eveline trained twelve women from the Cooperative to make these menstrual hygiene kits. As well she taught women’s health and menstruation, part of the Days for Girl's’ mandate. A business plan was then completed to meet the standards and guidelines of the D4G Center in Uganda. The business plan was accepted and Tuyjembere became the first D4G micro-enterprise in Rwanda.
During the May-June 2016 trip, Eveline was able to distribute ninety Days for Girls Kits from Canada to five groups in Rwanda. They were well received by all groups; a Solace Community, a maternity Hospital in Nyamata, a large group at the One Dollar Hostel in Kigali, the Wisdom School in Musenze, and the Tuyjembere Cooperative.
Further in the Fall of 2016, the D4G center in Uganda sent a mentor to work with Tuyjembere in Kigali. Impressed with their skills, Tuyjembere was asked to become a supplier for East Africa. Now it will be possible for travellers and volunteer organizations to pre-order kits before leaving North America and pick the kits up in Kigali for distribution.
Tuyjembere is a combination of two Kinyarwanda words that means “We go Forward Together.” What a great name for a Cooperative.
Another great success story for INSPIRE!Africa.
Primates a Go-Go
Primates A Go-Go was established by Merrill Genereux, a long time volunteer of INSPIRE!africa. While on a volunteer trip to Rwanda with INSPIRE!africa in 2012 Merrill was inspired by those affected by the 1994 genocide. Merrill learned that one of the biggest challenges Rwandan artists face is moving beyond the local marketplace and finding alternative channels to sell their products.
Motivated to get involved beyond her volunteer work, Merrill began building Primates A-Go-Go, a company that imports handcrafted Rwandan jewelry accessories, clothing and provides an online platform to reach a wider client base across Canada.
One of its partners is a Rwanda women’s group called the Tuyiembere Cooperative. These women set their own prices guaranteeing fair payment in return for their products. Handmade jewellery, bags and accessories created with Rwandan materials reflect the vibrancy of African colours and the individuality of handmade crafts.
Each item sold assists victims of genocide in Rwanda and goes towards supporting themselves and their families. Proceeds from sales are reinvested in the Cooperative to replenish new merchandise to sell.
When asked Merrill explained her motivation, “Nothing speaks to the reasons to support INSPIRE!africa like seeing first hand, where the money raised is going and meeting those people who are directly affected by it. For me, that trip moved me to action.
My life has been forever altered by people I have met, places I have gone and things I have experienced. All of which would never have transpired had it not been for that opportunity and the generosity of INSPIRE!africa”.
Tujyembere Cooperative by Gilbert Sibomana 2016
INSPIRE!africa Sponsored Students - Graduation Letters
I’d first like to say that no words of gratitude can possibly express how grateful I am to you for…
I am Jean Pierre KANAKUZE. I was born August 25,1991, in the southern province of Rwanda, the former Gikongoro. My parents…
A message to INSPIRE!africa from Monique Bumbeya. First of all, I thank you very much for paying my tuition fees and…
My name is Hirwa Yves Jordan but most people call me Ivan and I am here to thank all the…
Joseph graduated this past December from the Rwanda Tourism University College with a Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Joseph’s…
Dear My Lovely Sponsors, I am very happy to write to you because it is not easy for me to come…
I'am happy to send my pics of graduation to my sponsors. You have done a great work to me, you…
Eric- Our First Graduate
“Long Live INSPIRE!africa, Long Live Sponsors” To INSPIRE!africa Team and sponsors, It has been such a good time Canadian sponsors…