Our Work in Rwanda

  • World Dancers walking with the Twirererabana ("Let Us Raise Our Children") Co-op, July 2016 - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Janet and Twirererabana President, Olive - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Twirererabana Co-op meeting - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Naome, Tubehotwese ("Let Us All Live") President - Photo: Fran Collin

  • Olga at her first co-op visit, Cokawi - Photo: Fran Collin

  • Janet and Icyerecezo ("Vision") President - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Student Leadership Training - Photo: Justin Bisengimana

  • Genevieve with the kids at Tubehotwese - Photo: Janet Reineck

  • Children in the Nursery School we started at Tubehotwese - Photo: Fran Collin

  • Annetta's "High Five" at Cokawi - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Danna with the Tubehotwese children - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Katrina and Bryan with the kids - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Welcoming a new cow into the co-op - Photo: Justin Bisengimana

  • Debra with a newly named calf, "Devon" - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Cokawi's Milk Goat - Photo: Fran Collin

  • The life-changing gift of a goat for a co-op family - Photo: Janet Reineck

  • Cokawi chicken business - Photo: Justin Bisengimana

  • Twa (Pygmy) seamstress - Photo: Olga Herrera Pinal

  • Twiyubaka ("Let Us Improve Ourselves") Handcrafts - Photo: Janet Reineck

  • Twa hoeing their fields - Photo: Justin Bisengimana

  • Danna dancing at Kungabu - Photo: Fran Collin

  • Jeremy and Olga dancing with a fisherman - Photo: Genevieve Feiner

  • Meeting with Cokawi about their co-op work - Photo: Fran Collin

  • Visiting the Twirererabana land - Photo: Fran Collin

rwanda africa map

In December of 2011, we partnered with Goats for Life, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that had been working since 2007 to help Rwandans stay alive in the aftermath of the Genocide through gifts of goats and cows. In the spring of 2013, GFL’s Founder Betsy Kain retired and World Dance for Humanity took on her legacy and commitment to serve these communities. Since then, WD4H has become deeply involved with the communities, helping them survive…and THRIVE.

We are currently working with 7,500 people in 20 rural communities, providing donations of livestock, student stipends, training, and small business support to help each community create a sustainable livelihood. The projects are envisioned, planned, and managed by the co-op members themselves, with the support of WD4H and our Rwanda Team.

See our Field Reports
Learn about the communities we serve
Meet our Rwanda Team

Thanks to the generous support of our dancers and donors, in 2015 we were able to send $91,195 in aid, giving these people the means to improve their lives. We have seen tremendous changes, as the communities begin to believe in the future and work for a sustainable livelihood. We are so grateful to our Rwanda Team – Program Director Justin Bisengimana, Program Assistant Dany Rukundo, and Education Coordinator Chantal Kubwimana – for implementing our programs with complete selflessness and extraordinary dedication. Since 2013, we have provided the communities with:

  • Annual student stipends for 100 students (primary school, secondary school, and college)
  • 672 goats, 27 full-grown pregnant cows, and 100 chickens
  • Six parcels of farmland
  • Training in business, agriculture, leadership, and community management
  • Funding for two sewing businesses, two bakeries, a café, a fish farming project, and a nursery school
  • Health insurance for 600 people each year who can’t afford the $4 annual fee
  • Mattresses for people sleeping on the ground; solar lights for people with no electricity

Meet some of the community members
(translations by Justin)

justin2

“Our generous and life-changing sisters, I wish I would be with you right now to express gratitude for the blessings I have because of you. I would make a huge hug of love to you. 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 always meet with you in my heart any time 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. I don’t have any return to you, except praying for your courage, protection and success in all you do.” Mary Kanzayire

 

Margaritha w goat c
 

“A goat you see me holding is the answer of my wish to belong to the community of change, well-beings, hope and respect in all ways, this goat will soon take me there. I am so much appreciative to our donors.” Margaritha

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jean Marie w goat tube c

“I cannot wait to tell my friends about this goat. Some of them used to put me to shame that my father doesn’t have livestock like theirs but things will no longer be the same. This evening I will bring this goat to graze with theirs and they will see that things have changed in my family.”  Jean Marie

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Catherine w goat tube c“I am holding a brighter future of me and my family and it’s what you can see here. A goat is going to be the bringer of the change in my family. We live on doing agriculture in a poor way, this goat will positively impact our production and it will provide us with financial necessities while having offspring from it. There is no way to thank donors to make this happen for us. God bless them.” Catherine

 

 

 

 

goat“These are not just goats, they are so meaningful to us, we used to keep livestock before genocide but genocide has taken everything away including our hope to keep livestock again, we did not even have hope for our future but because of you and your support, we have our livestock back and we have a living hope for our brighter future. We thank you to infinity and beyond and I think we cannot thank you enough and we cannot talk about your kindness enough but what you are doing can speak more of it; our thanks will always be expressed by the tangible actions you are doing  for us. God bless you!” Gratia