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Review for Humanity For Children, Columbia, MO, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I visited several of Humanity for Children's (HFC) Projects in Rwanda in January, 2018. HFC is unique in that it gives grants (not loans) to community associations, thus making the people in the association responsible to eachother. I saw first hand how successful this approach is. We visited two craft associations and two agricultural associations. HFC provides money for sewing machines and knitting machines, for example, and the association can then make clothes and other things for sale. HFC provides funding for beans, pigs, and chickens to the agricultural associations and they are then able to become a sustainable business. We went as a group of 6 women on a "woman to woman" trip to talk to the recipients of the grants about how their lives have changed since receiving the grants. Most of the messages were similar; that now that they are bringing an income home, their husbands respect them more and they have more of a voice at home. Through its grants, HFC is empowering women and helping them support their families. They reported that they can now send their children to school because they can afford to purchase uniforms and they are able to buy health insurance for their families. It was amazing to talk with these women and hear about how they support eachother inter-personally as well as through their shared endeavors. We also visited a primary school where HFC gives solar lamps to all students the year before they take their national exams (grade 6) so that they can study at home. The students have no electricity and these lamps have had a wonderful impact. It was reported to us that ever since HFC has been providing the solar lamps, the students' scores on the national exam have increased. It is hard to put into words the impact that visiting these HFC projects impressed and inspired me. The baskets that I purchased from two of the craft cooperatives are a beautiful reminder of my trip. Everything we visited and everyone we met was viewed in the context of the 1994 genocide, which impacted everyone we met in some way.

Role:  Volunteer