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The Rwanda genocide of 1994 was a tragic period of history as most are aware, causing close to one million of death with over 99.9% of the population especially females being witnessed to violence and death. This has led to many social problems with the young population today. Due to immense poverty and lack of knowledge of other alternatives, many girls who drop out of schools are more often involved in sexual practices with much older partners who impregnate them and leave them with children. This situation has led many girls into street in night and sex work where they are repetitively raped. The context of violence, poverty, commercial sex and lack of social support jeopardized those women's improved quality of life.
The project is for these groups of people that are vulnerable to violence, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, poverty and isolation due to their social status and for them having to support their households, a reliable source of income is crucial. However, as highlighted by several studies, there is a lack of formal work opportunity for rural girls and women in Rwanda that would allow them to obtain a stable income.
The project empowers the beneficiaries to take a leading role in prevention and management of all the above mentioned issues for their own advancement and security as well as for the community. Empowering women through initiating income generation activities compiled with awareness raising on HIV, malnutrition, poverty and women’s rights provides them with knowledge and skills required for their increased participation in prevention and response to those major critical issues for the women’s improved quality of life and participation.
Through the project, access to land has been an interest and patient capital for community gardens, seeds and tree seedlings for family home gardens, technical assistance in sustainable agriculture and nutrition, and market linkages. Through 10 cooperatives of 30 members the project has facilitated the creation of community gardens of vegetables (eggplants, tomatoes, beets, cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, red onion, spinach, squash, and sweet peppers) as a tool to stabilize income to meet their basic needs. The cooperatives use the marshland made available by local government to create the community gardens and facilitate their integration into the labor market in order to improve the quality of life for their families.