Justin: “There are so many reasons for these people to be overjoyed! Everybody who knows the history of the Twa in Rwanda has reason to celebrate! It’s hard to believe these are the same people who had no other choice but hunting, and were living in such poverty. Donors, lives are being transformed because of your big hearts!”
On June 26, 2015, three full-grown, pregnant cows were delivered to the Twa (Pygmy) community we work with in southwestern Rwanda on the border with Burindi. Says Justin, our Rwanda Program Director, “The people were truly overjoyed. If it was possible they would have carried the cows on their backs!”
In April of 2014, the Tubeho co-op in the mountains of central Rwanda received a loan from World Dance to start a bakery. We were thrilled to announce the opening of the business on April 28, 2015 – which will mean new, sustainable livelihood for all. We just received these photos that show the bakery in full swing! What joy!
On Saturday, May 16th, our Rwanda Team delivered 25 goats to the Twirererabana women in their remote village in the mountains above Kigali. This cooperative was founded in 2013 by Oliva, who brought together other unwed mothers to help each other survive. World Dance for Humanity is a solid partner in the development of these […]
On Saturday, May 17th, World Dancers visited elderly and disabled folks in Santa Barbara, bringing SWING music to the seniors and ROCK N’ ROLL to the young adults. As they took our hands, their faces slowly brightened, the music lifted them, and we shared amazing moments of affection and connection.erly and disabled folks in Santa Barbara, bringing SWING music to the seniors and ROCK N’ ROLL to the young adults. As they took our hands, their faces slowly brightened, the music lifted them, and we shared amazing moments of affection and connection.
Can you smell the aroma of warm baked goods wafting from Rwanda? The Tubeho (“Let Us Live”) Cooperative started thinking about building a bakery in 2010, with the only dependable source of baked goods 90 minutes away in Kigali. In April of 2014 they received a loan from a World Dancer to rent a small house to use as a shop, build an oven, purchase materials and equipment, and hire an experienced baker to teach them the trade. On April 28, 2015, the community celebrated the official opening of the bakery!
“Donors, you are the reason of our joy…” The week before Easter, World Dance raised $10,620 through an online campaign to purchase 236 goats for the Genda Ugire Utyo (“Go and Do That”) Cooperative in Eastern Rwanda. We are so grateful to everyone who took part! On April 24th, the community welcomed their goats, with amazement! They couldn’t believe this miracle had happened in their lives.
“What a joyful time to be sitting in the midst of these animals. This is the time we have been waiting for. This is going to help us keep our name, ‘Those Who Never Give Up.’ We were so hopeless after our first disappointment and we thought things shouldn’t rise up again, but we are ready to move as we are already given strength to help us move. These goats are more than just a walking stick on a slippery way, they are simply our life-changing means.” Martha Mukambonera
WD4H supports 20 cooperatives in far-flung regions of Rwanda. The co-ops are becoming a wonderful resource for each other, offering knowledge and experience they have acquired – about farming, livestock, and co-op management. In April, Abadacogora visited Cokawi to learn about how they take care of their milk goat, and learned many more things!
Every April, the country of Rwanda dedicates a full week to a solemn remembrance of the 1994 Genocide that left 1 million people dead and a country in ruins. The country is now working together for a peaceful, productive future. World Dance for Humanity is honored to be partnering with 20 rural Rwandan communities as they build a new life. See our Remembrance Video in sisterhood with the Rwandan people.
THANK YOU – MURAKOZE! On March 22, 2015, World Dance for Humanity launched its first online campaign. We set a goal to raise $11,970 to buy 266 full-grown, pregnant goats for two Rwandan communities: 236 goats for Genda Ugire Utyo, 30 goats for Twirererabana. Thanks to our supporters around the country, we reached our goal, […]
From Justin: “We thank God that the Twirererabana women finally they have this beautiful, big land. This new land has a house on it which will accommodate one of the members who was homeless. It will be their meeting place while working the land. This land has cow grass planted on its edges and Twirererabana will no longer buy cow grass to feed their cow, Merilyn. Surely, I have never seen Twirererabana members with such a joy. Everything was very new for them this day.”
On February 18, 2015, the Tubehotwese Cooperative in the northeast tip of Rwanda, opened their new kindergarten, funded by World Dancers, Sherry Robin. The Cooperative had been planning this project for several years, as a way to get their young ones ready for grammar school, and as a source of income.
“Am I really the one owning this big goat? It is a great honor in my family that from today onward we are part of livestock owners. We will get money and fertilizer from this goat and our lives are going to be transformed. If you think I am dreaming, visit me after a few months.” Jeannette Uwambaje
Look what we accomplished together! We are so grateful to our growing community of dancers and donors for your support and involvement in 2014! You have made it possible for World Dance for Humanity (WD4H) to bring life-changing assistance to the 20 communities we are serving in Rwanda, and lend a hand here at home.
Justin Bisengimana: “Education is the key to changing the world. I wish words would be enough to express my gratitude toward all contributors to our WD4H 2014 Education Fund. We had no idea how this money could be raised, but you made it happen! You made a way for 132 young people to pursue their dreams. Please try to feel how impactful your sponsorship is in their lives.
Justin: There was no way we could have ever imagined what has happened with this community. They have come out of their isolated world and experienced a sense of real community, of loving and being loved, celebrating and being celebrated. I was so much excited about their dream of coming to Kigali to meet the Cokawi co-op and see what they have achieved. They have done such a huge work together and it was not just taking out weeds but they also expanded their relationships while working together.
With all 2014 donations in, we can now share the final results of our Thriller and year-end fundraising efforts. Our (lofty!) 2014 goal was $35,000 for the Rwanda Education Fund and local charities. (The Thrill for Humanity video below says we raised $23,000. That’s old news!) Thanks to our AMAZING dancers and donors, the final amount raised was…
On December 10, 2014, something extraordinary happened in Rwanda: 93 of the high school and college students sponsored by World Dance for Humanity traveled from all over Rwanda to take part in a life-changing three-day Leadership Training in Kayonza, in the East of the country. The goal of the training was to give the students a sense of purpose and direction as FUTURE LEADERS of their cooperatives, and acquaint them with the notion of ENTREPRENEURSHIP, the potential for creating their own source of income that will benefit their community.
On June 25, 2014, seven World Dancers traveled to Rwanda to get to know the 20 communities we are serving there. We recently completed a video of the trip. We hope it will give you a sense of the place, the people, and the role of World Dance for Humanity in their lives.
On September 11th, Justin delivered 40 goats (paid for by World Dancers and donors) to new members of the Tubehotwese cooperative in northeast Rwanda who have no land, no livestock, nothing to sustain them. Says Justin: “We are helping poor communities lift themselves out of their extreme poverty with the principle that everyone, no matter which social or economic status, has to own their change process and be responsible of it, this is how what we call ‘inside-out change’ is possible.”
Five of the cooperatives we serve in Rwanda were formed by people with AIDS who banded together to help each other survive. We have been helping each of these groups with livestock and other community support, which now includes healthcare. This summer WD4H sent $1,540 from class proceeds and donations to give 76 families (with 366 family members) access to healthcare.
I just turned 60, and my birthday wish was for help in purchasing a cow and a piece of land for the Twirererabana (“Let Us Raise Our Children”) cooperative in Rwanda. Guess how much we raised!
Together, Goats for Life and World Dance for Humanity have donated 23 full grown, pregnant cows to the communities we are helping in Rwanda. These cows have given birth to a total of 31 calves and are producing milk for the children and fertilizer for the crops.
In April of 2014, a World Dancer and her family made it possible for our Twa community to start a sewing business. When we visited the group in June, eight treadle sewing machines had just arrived. The members were so excited, and so proud to be embarking on business to sustain their community!
On July 8, 2014, seven World Dancers traveled to the mountains north of Kigali to visit the Abishyizehamwe Cooperative and get to know their community. We timed it to be there for the delivery of 30 goats, paid for during the Spring by World Dancers and supporters. It was a bit wild and totally great to be part of this!
Thanks to a generous gift from a World Dance supporter, the Cokawi project is underway! An agriculture adviser has visited and developed plans with the community. A group of laborers is now working with the women to “tame” their marshland.
On July 10th, seven World Dancers returned from our visit to Rwanda, exhausted, inspired, and happy in the knowledge that work we are doing in the 20 communities we are serving in Rwanda is the right work to be doing, and is helping each group carve a future for themselves.
Sherry continues her travels in Rwanda before meeting up with the rest of the World Dancers. Janet, Debra, and Danna join Justin for breakfast in Kigali.
In May, Justin visited the Joy cooperative to deliver the wonderful news that World Dance has raised $4,500–collected from class proceeds and donations–for their farming project. With the money they will purchase a two-acre parcel of land and materials to build a cow shed so they can sustain themselves with a milk business.
…”there’s a splash of magic that occurs and voila, dresses and shorts surprisingly appear in faraway lands in Africa. With the collaboration of World Dance for Humanity, the sewing ladies of the Carpinteria Community Church and the Carpinteria Rotary, dresses and shorts will be delivered to children Rwanda this month. How lucky are we?”
We are delighted to introduce you to Chantal Kubwimana, a talented, compassionate, beautiful young Rwandan woman who will be assisting our Rwanda Program Driector, Justin Bisengimana, and his assistant Danny, in our work. Chantal is Justin’s sister. When we visited Rwanda last June, she was in college studying Rural Development.
The goal of WD4H in 2014 is to help start a business in each of the 14 cooperatives we support in Rwanda so they can develop sustainable incomes. On May 27, 28, and 29, we held a business training workshop for 20 members of the Kungabu and Abakundana Cooperatives in the Cyangugu District of southwest Rwanda. The 11 women and 9 men who took part spent three life-changing days together. This was the first time these two communities had ever met. The workshop taught them the basics of business and gave them a chance to share their cultures and ideas as never before.
“When we realized we had a dream to create a sewing business we thought we were foolish because there was no way for us to make it happen. Justin encouraged us to keep our dream, but we had little hope that some time our project would be funded. We developed that idea like people who were gambling. Now that we have funding, I can imagine seeing my friends, coop members making clothes like our dresses to earn money. Thank you so much to World Dance for allowing us to have such a huge opportunity which will lead us into our future.” Ponciana Nyiraneza
“On May 17th, World Dance for Humanity and friends brought more joy and hope to our people through their donation. We give so many thanks for turning the dreams of this community into reality. Thank you for bringing such a big hope that a better future is possible. It is not just providing cows but you are building a foundation of sustainable development.” Justin Bisengimana
World Dance is working to make sure every family has a goat and every community has a cow. The cows are owned collectively by the community – each family gets a portion of the milk and manure. We’re thrilled to introduce you to all SEVEN calves born to the cows provided by World Dance and Goats for Life!
From Justin Bisengimana: “Sponsors, you may think that sending a letter to your sponsored child is something simple and small… but it is not. It changes their lives in ways beyond your imagination. It gives confidence and hope to know that somebody out there has taken time to write. You make them feel that they matter in their communities. They are covered by joy after receiving a letter from a thousand miles…”
It’s not too late to get a goat for your favorite Mom! $45 buys a goat that will change a family’s life in a simple, sustainable, meaningful way. Juanita will send a beautiful card to the mothers on your list!
On April 18th, Justin gave us the heartbreaking news that one of our sponsored children Philbert Munezero, a 17 year-old boy from the Umunezero (Joy) cooperative, had passed away the night before. Justin had been with the boy two days before during the student assessment. A day later Philbert was in the hospital complaining of […]
On Tuesday, April 21st, World Dance sent start-up funds for the first 4 of 14 businesses being launched by the communities we serve in Rwanda.
From Justin: At Joy (Umunezero), Courage (Komera), and Let Us Live (Tubeho) cooperatives, we have been busy distributing letters from Sponsors to their students. This is a huge emotional support to these children. It gives hope for them that somebody faraway cares about them. Sponsors’ letters and photos are creating such moving memories in the […]
From Justin in Rwanda: “There are 10 students in WD scholarships. In general they performed well and they are so much courageous and committed to working hard to prove to their sponsors that they are doing their best with this support. Some of them have received letters from their sponsors. After reading and answering their […]
“I couldn’t believe that my Sponsor Leslie could take the time to write such a letter to somebody like me. It gives more hope and a feeling that I am really cared about. Thank you so much Leslie.” Dear Rosette (the second girl from the left, who was in tears) The joy of receiving…and giving […]
Recently, Justin Bisengimana brought “Unite to Light” solar lights to our Twa (Pygmy) community in southwest Rwanda where there is 12 hours of darkness every day, all year long. On the road near the Twa cooperative, Justin met a woman who had given birth to a baby girl a few nights before, and gave a […]
Never Again has always had one simple drum to accompany their worship services—which are the heart and soul of their communal life. They wanted a keyboard, microphone, and a sound system to “amplify” their spiritual life and increase the numbers of people participating. Justin brought this request to World Dance in December of 2012. When […]