Empowering women is key in contributing towards economic development given that it helps in fighting poverty, gender and domestic based violence and promoting gender equality.
This was said by the Executive Director of Strive Foundation Rwanda (SFR), Bernard Miramira as the local not-for profit organisation marked this year’s International Women’s Day.
He noted that the promotion and advocacy for social justice and economic empowerment opportunities for women go a long way in enabling women to contribute towards the economic development of the country.
SFR has six key pragmatic areas which include Youth and Women’s Economic Empowerment, Education, Health, Social Protection, Child Rights and Protection and Environmental Protection.
“We have majorly supported women through our Gatsata Village Saving and Loan Program in partnership with Emerge poverty free,” said Miramira.
“Also, in collaboration with our partners, we have provided health insurance to more than 1500 children from different families every year and adults, adding up to more than 8500 people to have received medical insurance from SFR. This has led to reduction of children mortality in the communities hence good health care,” he explained.
Under the same health program SFR trains the communities how to prepare a nutritious diet, and also how to build a kitchen garden which would provide daily vegetables to attain food security in their different families.
Supporting women in agriculture and other businesses
SFR has supported women in Agricultural projects development in Gasabo District specifically in Jabana Rice farms and livestock in different sectors and districts of the country mainly in Musanze, Burera, and Gisagara.
The NGO supports women in business development in Huye district in the Southern Province, where they support women with Bricks and Roofing tiles businesses to manage and develop linkages to financial institutions for their businesses.
The Bricks and roofing tiles making Cooperative called Ingoro Ihuje Ababyeyi, is made of 40 vulnerable single mothers and they have achieved a lot as a team of business women.
The Cooperative has a main objective of poverty reduction and its specific objective is to create collective economic security for vulnerable women.
The rice farming cooperative called COPRORI-BARAKABAHO members’ main objective is poverty reduction among single mothers and its specific objective is of creating a collective economic security for vulnerable women.
The Pig farming cooperative (CADEFEM) through SFR’s HHN project, has provided 65 pigs and animal drugs as well as a veterinary services for technical support to the single mothers, grouped in CADEFEM.
“All these programs and projects have not only contributed to lives of these women but also contributed to the development of the country,” Miramira said.
What is clear is that SFR has done quite a lot in empowering women, who more often than not are the most vulnerable groups in society.
About Strive Foundation Rwanda (SFR)
Since 2003, SFR has grown significantly in capacity and now operates with a team of 32 permanent staff members (and 8 part-time) with a variety of training backgrounds and experiences. The organization has a presence in 13 District Field Offices throughout Rwanda and the Head Office at Karuruma, Kigali-Gasabo.
It also has a coordination office at Remera Rukiri II in Kigali-Gasabo District.
Specifically, SFR is operational in Gasabo, Burera, Musanze, Rutsiro, Nyabihu, Rubavu, Karongi, Ngororero, Nyamasheke, Rusizi, Kamonyi, Gisagara, and Huye Districts.
The organization continuously looks for capacity building opportunities for its entire field and head office staff who are under the leadership of the Legal Representative and overseen by the Board of Directors.
They currently and have previously partnered with some big organizations around the globe which include, the European Union, Human Help Network (HHN), Global Fund, Emerge poverty Free, FK Norway and Handicap International, Akazi kanoze EDC, The British High Commission among others.
Also, SFR is a prominent member of several key national umbrella groups: Rwanda Education NGO Coordination Platform, Council of Dialogue for Support to Grassroots Organizations, Rwanda NGO Forum on Aids and Health Promotion and Rwanda Youth Organization.
Regionally, SFR is a member of the East Africa Association of Grant Makers Association, the East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness.