May Focus: Rwanda
We’re continuing our Strong Women, Strong World country series, focusing on one country a month. We’ll share stories and World Vision projects from that country throughout the month. For May, our focus is Rwanda.
Rwanda is still reeling from the effects of the 1994 genocide, 19 years ago last month, that killed an estimated 1 million people in 100 days, devastating the country and its people. Chronic food insecurity, frequent droughts, and poverty, has prevented many children, especially girls, from enrolling in public school. Rwanda ranks low on the Human Development Index–167th out of 182 countries–and more than 60 percent of people live below the poverty line. Nearly half of Rwanda’s people are children, and more than 220,000 have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS. Children are also vulnerable to Rwanda’s food insecurity; around 45 percent of children under 5 are malnourished and suffer from stunting. World Vision has been working in Rwanda since 1976, offering food security, agricultural assistance, emergency relief supplies, and counseling. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 23,200 children.
In Rwanda, World Vision’s Strong Women, Strong World initiative will focus on economic development. Currently, financial training, services and savings groups are provided for women entrepreneurs in Rwanda. Loans are offered to disadvantaged Rwandans, allowing them to generate income through agriculture, raising livestock, neighborhood services, and local trade. The Strong Women, Strong World initiative will fund a project which will impact even more of the population.
Stories in this series: