“Dignity Cafe” – Outcast unwed mothers become Leaders

1 Cafe Resto

 Announcing the Grand Opening of


The Twirererabana Cooperative in northern Rwanda was founded by a group of unwed mothers who had been rejected by the babies’ fathers and by their own families. They formed a Cooperative in 2013 to help each other survive. They dreamed of becoming farmers and sending their children to school, and World Dance stepped up to help them, donating 45 goats, 2 cows, farmland, and school stipends. Twirererabana now has 527 members, a successful farming enterprise, and children and teens attending school.

In 2015, the women came up with the idea of opening a restaurant and store where they could sell the food they grow and items unavailable in their region. World Dance supporter Michelle Joanou donated the funds to purchase the building and start the business. They called their cafe “Isheja” [Dignity] to reflect the role this project is playing in their lives. It is strategically located where their district’s health clinic, school, and government office are. Their leader Olive thought of installing a TV and refrigerator, things very new in this region, to draw customers.
The restaurant opened March 29, 2016, with great joy and celebration. It was a historic moment for these women. Once outcasts, they are now leaders in their community.
See what our support has meant in the lives of these courageous women!


cutting ribbon 1

Justin Bisengimana:

“These women have gone through difficult challenges in their lives. Through Michelle’s donation and WD4H’s support, their dreams have become reality. It is not only business funding. The women now have great value and respect in their community. Lifelong memories were created in this remote village today, and a new hope has been created in these mothers.”



3 Olive


Olive, Co-op Leader:

“Being called ‘unwed mother’ was something very distressing for us. But because of what we have achieved, the community sees us as different people. We matter a lot in our community, and it is because of our donors. They made us become important members of the community. We thank you so much for all you do for us.”




3 Joselyne

Joselyne, Co-op Member:

“Before meeting our World Dance friends, my life was in a deep darkness and I was isolated. I had no value in my community since I had been rejected by my family. My life now is completely different because of our donors. They loved me while I was hated by my family. I was given a place to stay when I was homeless [she lives in the house on the land we helped them purchase]. They have given us what we needed to be who we are now. We feel we are women like others and our community needs us to develop. I can’t wait for the future with all fruits from what our donors have done and are still doing.”


3 Judith

Judith, Sector Leader
(speaking to Co-op Members):

“Thanks to your commitment, hard work, and the generosity of World Dance, you will become a role model in the development of this region. It is very remarkable, and you will make it! I cannot thank your donors enough. What they are doing does not only impact you but the entire community. We will continue working with these women to make all their dreams a reality together with donors who are very kind to them.”



Responses to this report:

Justin Bisengimana: “It is truly possible to change lives. Thank you World Dance for being generous to these women. They are not only becoming community leaders but also the hope of the community.”

Celeste Pearlman: “I LOVE this sooo much!!!! How wonderful.”

Elsie Dunin: “Such WONDERFUL and meaningful outcomes…for these previous “outcast women” through positive emotional and tangible support. Congratulations to you and your dancing team…”

Ann Carneros: “Big Hug to all! Congrats on your achievements!”

August Vanderbeek: “Wow! How incredible. I am very moved. It must be amazing to work with them! And for you to see all of your hard work progress so beautifully.”

Betsy Stivers: “This is very exciting!  So great to see all of their pride in what they have accomplished.”

Christy Morse: “Janet, this is amazing! What an inspiring story! World Dance is doing so much for Rwanda! You must be so thrilled!”

Pluis Davern: “Love the photos and updates of the World Dance for Humanity. Wonderful!!! Nothing like starting off my day with happy tears.”

Naomi Baran: “This is inspiring!”

Betsy Kain: “This is really and truly quite wonderful! I remember when you started from almost nothing…!”

Allegra Snyder: “What an amazing little seed of dancing together can do!!!!”

Suzanne Petrie: “Oh my gosh! This is SOOO wonderful! God bless them!”

fridge and tv
! Twire group 2
! Twire group trees
1 dancing twire
1 dancing twire 1

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