Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Monday, March 24, 2008

Support a Rwandan Family - Buy a Goat

Kigali Self-Help group members with their bank-books in May 2007

The most successful humanitarian programs I have come across in my travels in Africa are centred around small, self-help groups. These groups are mini-communities of people motivated to help one another make difference in their own situations. They are examples of indigenous responsibility taking.

Each group is based around a micro-finance framework and each group is replicable. What makes these groups so successful is their ability to change their individual members living conditions in a very short time and the way they so rapidly replicate. They are an amazing example of networking and viral marketing.

What makes them (IMO) really cool is that they are also an example of the "hand-up" mentality at work. They teach people to take responsibility for their own situation without relying on endless handouts. Instead of dependancy, these groups create interdependancy.

I should point out that the majority of members of these groups are women, there are groups consisting of HIV/AIDS sufferers and all members come from marginalised, poverty stricken communities.

With all that in mind, Day 4 have jumped at the opportunity to add more value, where we can, to these self help groups by offering seed (or capital) funding for sustainable projects operated by the groups. These projects require one-off funding and then will operate over the long term in a sustainable way - generating their own income which covers all operating costs and provides a profit for the self-help group members (an important requirement for the majority of the projects we fund).

Today's project is a goat farming initiative developed by the Muganza self-help group. When complete this project will supply 20 goats to the cooperative, provide a plot of land for grazing and pay the wages of a shepherd.

For AU$185.00 (US$170.00) you can fund the purchase of a 1/20th share of the project (or one goat!). In return you will receive a personal photograph of "your" goat and updates on the state of the project.

If you would like to donate, please visit Day 4's website where you can donate online or via a variety of other ways.

The self-help groups (more than 60 groups exist throughout the Kigali region) are an initiative of the Christian Unity Fellowship, Day 4's Rwandan partners and are an indigenous example of faith in Christ, in action in a transformative way in the Rwandan community.

2 comments:

Mork said...

I like what you are saying - thanks mate.If it was a goat they are chasing I will donate myself!!! (not really) - I like the concept of micro, a lot can happen when we get the micro right.

The Creature said...

Hey Mork, Do you give milk? :)

Yeah - I am really impressed with what I've seen, both in Rwanda and Kenya. Really inspirational stuff.

Thanks for coming by.