The Women's Cooperative at Rutonde

The Women's Cooperative

Those who have been following the blog will be familiar with the porridge project we have been running in Rutonde for several years. The project has fed malnourished children and helped their families to earn income for themselves. So far, this has usually taken the form of crops grown from seed or breeding animals. The porridge at Rutonde will be ending later this year. In order to leave the local community with an ongoing project we have helped the women there to set up a cooperative. Last September some sewing machines and materials were purchased. The women have been saving what money they have and contributing this to the pot. The Rutonde Women's Cooperative has been making traditional Rwandan crafts to sell. Agaseke baskets are produced along with bags and purses. The cooperative is more than a business bringing in income. It is also a focus for the women and a source of mutual support. It is pleasing to see our help yielding fruit and allowing the women to build their lives independently.