An Association of Rwandan women living in France and their friends have donated five hybrid cows to Rwanda’s One-cow-per family program.
The One-cow-per family initiative seeks to provide every Rwanda poor family with a cow, to improve their household income and nutrition.
Francis Rutayisire representing Association des Femmes Solidaires de Saint Malo made the pledge during the 12th National dialogue in Rwanda’s Capital Kigali.
Rutayisire said, “After a visit by President Paul Kagame to France in 2011, our French friends got more interested in Rwanda and decided we should do something together to support Rwandans’ efforts to develop.”
Tony Nsanganira, State Minister in Agriculture ministry said this is the third time the France based association has pledged cows to the one- cow-per family initiative since 2011.
A cow is both an expression of sincere love in Rwandan culture, and a wish of abundance to the recipient.
The one-cow-per family initiative was conceived during the 2009 National dialogue and has so far benefited over 200,000 families.
Government targets to provide over 350,000 cows by 2017.
The cows pledged are valued each at $ 600 and the government buys cows which they send directly to poor families.
Last year the association gave three cows, and the previous year, one.
“We want other associations and well-wishers emulate Association des Femmes Solidaires de Saint Malo,” said Nsanganira.
Rwanda spends over Rwf 2 billion annually to buy over 5000 cows that are donated to poor families. Development partners contribute over 25,000 cows.
One cow program is part of social initiative that drew a million Rwandans from poverty in last five years.
New friends, new business opportunities and pledges towards Rwandan social development are made in both the National Dialogue and Rwanda Day.
The successful one dollar complex worth $ 2.5M was an idea conceived during the similar national dialogue by Rwandan Diaspora.
The complex currently hosts about 200 orphans of Genocide against Tutsi.
By: Jean de la Croix Tabaro