You might remember Josephine Niyonsenga’s smiling family from a prior blog post. Our Board Member, Jean Nicholson went to visit the Ingambo Ikingira Ubukene co-op in the Bugesera District of Rwanda, and Josephine was kind enough to invite her to visit her home.
Josephine is an original member of the cooperative, and has stuck with it through thick and thin. There was a time where it seemed as if no progress would be made, however she expresses hope now that Africa Development Promise has started working with the co-op. She sees that we have been able to provide resources that have led to tangible work such as the greenhouse and training center. She looks at the co-ops first official yield as an early sign of the progress and prosperity to come if she continues with the hard work the co-op has started.
Josephine is married with 5 children – Phoste (20), Sylvia (9), Steven (8), Kwizera (5), and Joseph (21 months). Her goals are that each of her children receives a complete education and that as a family they can rise out of poverty.
She lives in the same village she was born in, and as such has an extensive network of contacts to call upon, something she wouldn't have if she were to leave. She admits that because she was only able to complete school up to grade 8, she was unable to go to town to seek an office job. However, she likes the cooperative model of business. Not only for the social aspect, but as well because “it brings me together with other members and widens my thinking to plan how we can develop together.” It’s a very African sentiment. Community plays such an important role, especially for women and especially in a rural village. It’s part of the reason why Africa Development Promise believes in cooperatives, and the government in Rwanda is so supportive of them.
Africa Development Promise
Establishing, maintaining and empowering cooperatives in rural Africa.