Empowering vulnerable genocide widows

Josephine Nibasenge is a member of the National Association of Genocide Widows(AVEGA) who attended entrepreneurship training through the Empowering Vulnerable Genocide Widows in Karongi District to Alleviate Extreme Poverty (EVKEP) project.  Before this project, her main occupation and only source of income was agriculture, which generated very variable income as a result of uncertain harvests - made more uncertain by ongoing climate change.

Josephine confirmed that the project has helped her out of isolation, especially as her sector is located far from the main city of Karongi. None of her group has yet taken a loan from Urwego Bank, but SURF has provided start-up capital of 1,250,000 Rwf (USD1,214) to her group, which through a contribution from their own savings, has enabled members of the group - including Josephine - to start up small businesses.

 “I am very thankful to AVEGA and SURF for their contribution towards our lives. Before we used to sit down waiting for someone to come and help and support us, but things have changed since we joined the project and attended entrepreneurship training which has awakened our minds. We started our small businesses generating income. Personally, I set up a small business of buying and selling bananas in the market, which was profitable, but I saw that others could make more by buying and selling beans - so I started doing that instead and I have been able to make 40,000 Rwf (USD 39) per month after all expenses. My plan is to increase my investment and use that to buy more beans to sell. I took 50,000 Rwf (USD 49) as personal loan from the group and I have already paid it back. Now I am working hard to save more money for my future business."