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

“Our generous and life-changing sisters, I wish I could be with you right now to express gratitude for the blessings I have because of 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 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

In December of 2011, World Dance partnered with Goats for Life, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that had been working since 2007 to help rwanda africa mapRwandans 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, sustain, and build new lives.

We are currently working with 9,021 people in 25 rural communities, providing donations of livestock (goats, cows, and chickens), student stipends, training (in agriculture, leadership, and business) and support to help each community create a sustainable business enterprise. The projects are envisioned, planned, and managed by the co-op members themselves, with the support of WD4H and our Rwanda Team. The cooperatives have full responsibilities for their projects – they own their transformation. In this way, they are lifting themselves out of poverty.

See our Field Reports
Learn about the communities we serve
Read our Rwandan women’s stories
Meet our Rwanda Team

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. 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, Business Coordinator Judy Rwibutso, 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 167 students (primary school, secondary school, and college)
  • 953 goats, 49 full-grown pregnant cows, and 100 chickens
  • Six parcels of farmland
  • Training in business, agriculture, leadership, and community management
  • Funding for 3 sewing businesses, 3 bakeries, a water project, café, fish farming project, and nursery school
  • Health insurance for 600 people each year who cannot afford the $4 annual fee
  • Mattresses for people sleeping on the ground and solar lights for people with no electricity