World Vision Rwanda in partnership with Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on International Women’s Day gave the women in Rutsiro district, Western province a gift that left a mark on their hearts.
The gift consists of two modern markets that replace open air markets which were not only dilapidated but also insecure.
They were completed at a tune of Rwf 71 million and were built in Mushubati and Gihango sector respectively, in a strategic area-along the road Karongi-Rutsiro.
They are dedicated to 60 women fruit and vegetable vendors, from a list of 300 beneficiaries of World Vision support in the area.
“As we celebrate the International Women’s Day, we are inaugurating the two modern markets, which rhymes with this year’s theme; empowering a woman,” said the World Vision Rwanda National Director Pauline Okumu.
She further said that the markets are a relief for the women who used to sale their commodities in open air.
The beneficiaries were selected in collaboration with the Local Government Development Agencies(LODA). World Vision Official believes, that they chose an approach that will draw them from extreme poverty-teaching them to fish instead of giving them fish.
Okumu said, that they have empowered their beneficiaries to graduate from poverty mentality and to be convinced that they can make it in life.
“We taught them management and farming skills and they made good use of the knowledge acquired, thus good harvest which needed points of sale,” said Okumu.
“Here we go now! The markets are here.”
Beneficiaries speak out
The women who will use the two modern markets said it is a relief.
One of them is Verdiana Nyirabatware, a mother of four from Gihango sector.
She said: “I used to work in the neighbors’ gardens only to earn a bunch of banana after three days. I have been chosen by World Vision which supported me with small ruminants and a farm to grow essential crops. This changed my life and this market, is a great addition to the improvement of my family’s well-being.”
Nyirabatware believes that with this market, life will never be the same again.
KOICA Rwanda country director Chon Gyongshik said that investing in a woman is a great choice.
“We all know the role of women in farming, post-harvest handling and selling. Let’s support them, buy from them and believe in them,” he said.
Gyongshik said that since the last three years, KOICA injected $ 22 million in the support of several projects that change communities’ socio-economic life through farming, new technology, post-harvest handling and value addition and environment protection.
Additional reporting by Syldio Sebuharara