RUBAVU – RWANDA
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
Breeding goats for families in need in Rwanda
Located in the Basaa zone, the Rugerero sector of the Rubavu District is a densely populated area with a total population of over 35,000 people spread over 7 villages: 1,215 inhabitants per km². The Basa cell only has one school for 685 students. 52% of these are girls. In Basa, many children have no access to education, there are many irregularities in the system and absenteeism is rife among children who prefer to find odd jobs so that they can eat.
SOS Enfants is providing support to the Point d’Ecoute association in Gisenyi by financing all of its operating needs and the actions it carries out for the most destitute children and families living in the region. In 1999, two separate yet complimentary projects were launched involving the reintegration of street children and assistance to Aids orphans. The aim of the project is to reinforce the actions carried out by SOS Enfants in the Rubavu District which has been particularly affected by malnutrition. This project is completely in line with the Wavestone Foundation principles of sustainability and autonomy. The aim is to provide assistance to Le Point d’Ecoute in Gisenyi to help resolve the issue of street children.
The project involves groups of 50 families who each receive a goat to raise. Also, every child is given two rabbits to look after. The first baby goat (“kid”) born into each family is given to another family in a new group of 50 families, and so forth. Goats provide high quality manure to fertilize crops and their meat is very popular in Rwanda. Goat breeding has therefore become an essential economic asset for families who can easily sell their herd and/or by-products to ensure investments or meet any urgent needs. In addition, giving children rabbits to look after and raise is a good way to empower them. Because rabbit breeding is so prolific, children can use the revenues generated by rabbit sales to acquire the school supplies they need.
At present, around 300 goats and more than 150 families are involved in the program. In addition, the families receive support in terms of education, healthcare and food, as well as social care.
SOS Enfants is a French Association which carries out charitable work in Africa. The aim is to offer the children of the world the means to build their own futures in their native regions by ensuring that local traditions are respected. At present, SOS Enfants has more than 500 members and 100 volunteers and works with over 60 partner associations worldwide.