Chickens, Cows, and Goats – Oh My!
Today dreams become reality! We are enjoying training! I’m seeing courageous, concentrate and participate members and we believe outcome will be so much appreciated. Thanks for the donors for this. Turabakunda cyane! [We love you so much!] – Dany Rukundo, Rwanda Program Assistant (in the white striped shirt, above)
In August of 2015, World Dance for Humanity held a Veterinary Training course for 6 of the 20 Cooperatives we serve in Rwanda sponsored by the Fort Fund (See the full report here). The course was so successful, we immediately sought funding to hold another course for the remaining 14 communities. One of WD4H’s new supporters, Janelle Feiner (pictured left with her daughter, World Dancer Genevieve) underwrote cost of the second training, supplemented by World Dance class fees.
No words can express our thanks to Janelle who sponsored this course which has given our Cooperative members knowledge that is critical to their livestock raising and their livelihoods. Lives are going to be transformed as the livestock management evolves, thanks to what the participants have learned. The participants came from all over the country – from Cyangugu [in the southwest by the Burundi/Congo border], from the northeast [on the border with Uganda] and from remote areas in central Rwanda. The connection these people made, and experiences they shared, will be important into their development. Justin Bisengimana, Rwanda Program Director
A total of 39 Cooperative members attended an extraordinary three-day course that has already had a tremendous impact on the way these people are caring for their animals. The course was organized by Justin, with assistance from our Education Coordinator, Chantal Kubwimana, and Program Assistant Dany Rukundo. It was led by Joseph Ntigurirwa, who teaches veterinary science at one of the government institutions. Justin and Joseph are now working on a schedule for follow-up field visits to individual Co-ops to look at problems and solutions for each group.
The course was 9:00am to 17:00pm each day, with a break for lunch. There were supposed to be other breaks during the day, but the participants were so excited about what they were learning, they wanted to push through without stopping! Each day was dedicated to one aspect of their livestock programs: CHICKENS, COWS, AND GOATS.
Justin was with the trainees throughout the course, and was able to learn more about the challenges they have in raising their animals and their ideas for expanding this part of their economies. Every evening, he led discussions on “transformational leadership.” He talked about the qualities of a successful leader: Organization, Time Management, Participation, Determination, and Self-Discipline. Justin shared with them his decision to go to DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2007) to work with IDP’s (Internally Displaced People) and the lessons about leadership he gained there.
Justin: “It was obvious that all participants really liked the training – proven by the fact that they were very open to ask so many questions about their livestock. Everyone wanted to talk about the meaning of the training for them and what they would be taking back to their cooperative for future development of their livestock programs. There was time for each cooperative to make a detailed presentation about what they do, what they have achieved, and plans they have for a sustainable development. The members learned so much from each other in this way.
They learned many things about cows, goats, and chickens that will be useful into their projects, the new connections they made among themselves as participants from many cooperatives of different locations and what it means into their development, as well as expressing their thanks to donors. At the end of the course, the participants they did not feel like leaving as they wanted to spend more time together!”
“It was very amazing to spend time with Co-op leaders from different areas of Rwanda. I used to hear about them but I had no chance to meet them. I learned a lot from this training, I connected with people from different parts of my country, and for the first time I talked to someone in America while I was in Rwanda – seeing each other [via Skype]. I used to hear about this, but I could not believe it was possible. I made it, I have a great news to bring back to my Cooperative. I thank our donor Janelle who made it possible!” Nyagatare