“Our generous and life-changing sisters, I wish I could be with you to express gratitude for the blessings I have because of you. I am not growing older but growing younger; you keep me strong all the time. You brought back my hope and happiness. Now I have you as my sisters, and a strong foundation for my children and grandchildren. I meet with you in my heart anytime I think of what you are doing for us. My heart is connected to yours and I can feel it. My life is no longer the same since you started helping us.” – Mary Kanzayire, Twiyubake Co-op
World Dance for Humanity (WD4H) is a Santa Barbara-based grassroots organization helping 25 Rwandan communities left divided and destitute by the 1994 Genocide. We provide goats and cows, student stipends, support for community-run businesses, training (in agriculture, business, and leadership), and community support (health insurance, solar lights, mattresses, reusable menstrual pads, etc.). With this assistance, we’re able to help 9,921 people build new lives.
Our goal is to help these people “own their transformation” by supporting projects that they envision and plan. This approach is possible thanks to our Rwanda Team – Program Director Justin Bisengimana, Program Assistant Dany Rukundo, Business Coordinator Judy Rwibutso, and Education Coordinator Chantal Kubwimana – whose deep understanding of their people and extraordinary dedication make it possible to penetrate the hopelessness and division in these communities and inspire them to work together toward a brighter future.
EVERY PENNY from our dance classes, donations, and grants goes to our work in Rwanda, thanks to an annual gift that covers our minimal overhead.
Thanks to the generous support of our dancers and donors, in 2017 we were able to send $180,986 in aid to Rwanda, giving the people we work with the means to improve their lives. Since 2013, we have provided the communities with:
- 1,217 goats for individual families
- 59 full-grown, pregnant cows collectively owned by the co-op members
- Stipends for 212 primary, high school and college students
- Annual training workshops in agriculture, business, and leadership
- 2 nursery schools including buildings, equipment, and teachers’ salaries
- 12 businesses: 3 bakeries, 3 sewing businesses, 2 event rental businesses, a water project, a café, a ventilation brick business, a grass-cutting business, a handcraft enterprise, and a tilapia fish farm
- Reusable menstrual pad production projects in 4 cooperatives
- Health insurance for 800 people each year who cannot afford the $8 annual fee
- 252 mattresses for people sleeping on the ground
- 230 solar lights for people with no electricity