donated towards $3500
community hours worked
Nyarwando village is comprised of 153 families in the Northern Province of Rwanda. In July 2012, Spark MicroGrants began working with Nyarwando, and village members quickly came together to form the Kanguka Uhinge Association (Wake Up and Cultivate Association), to tackle their development needs. Most members of Kanguka Uhinge do not own their own land, and to provide for their families find jobs cultivating other people’s land in Rwanda and neighboring Uganda. For a day’s labor in land cultivation, village members can earn up to 1,000 Rwf ($1.75 USD). However, with cultivation being an unreliable source of income, many households struggle to meet their most basic needs, like paying for food, healthcare, and school fees. Unable to purchase enough food to provide their families with a nutritious diet, many households in Nyarwando face high rates of malnutrition and food insecurity.
To address the problem of food insecurity and a lack of income generation, members of Kanguka Uhinge have chosen to launch a potato cultivation project. The community plans to form a potato cooperative and use their microgrant to cover the startup costs, including renting land and purchasing seeds. After harvesting potatoes, the community plans to sell the majority of the harvest at the local market, while also providing each household with several kilos of potatoes. At the local market, the community hopes to sell each kilo of potatoes for 100 Rwf. The profits will be used to buy materials for the next harvest and to create a community savings fund. Community members will be able to take out loans from the savings fund at minimal interest rates, allowing them to start new businesses or to address immediate needs such as purchasing health insurance or paying for school fees. As potatoes only take three months to harvest, the community expects to see the benefit and impact of their project soon after implementation.
“We used to only meet to discuss our problems, but now we are meeting to discuss solutions and how to develop ourselves.” – Community leader of Nyarwando