The journey of Beatrice

Beatrice is a 56-year-old genocide widow from Rutsiro District in the Western Province. She received comprehensive training and skills development, which included entrepreneurship training as part of the projet led by SURF. This training equipped her with the knowledge and expertise needed to run a successful business.

Recognizing the importance of financial inclusion and community support, she joined a saving and credit group that allowed her to save regularly and access small loans, laying the foundation for her entrepreneurial journey. Beatrice, through the partnership with Urwego Bank, was able to access increasingly larger loans across three cycles, that then served as the initial capital for her business of buying and selling banana trees in her community This banana business has developed into a reliable source of income for her. Beatrice managed to buy three goats and one cow from the income from her banana business, as an investment, and she is continuing to grow her banana tree business, as well as now taking care of her livestock. The value of the business and livestock are equivalent to USD 850.

“I am very happy and stable now, after a long time living a miserable life of extreme poverty. I thank SURF and its donor who helped us to get the skills to start a business and to then get the money to grow it. I was very pleased to attend entrepreneurship training, where I learnt the skills to run a successful business. This model of training before giving someone money is very important. Trainers opened our minds to what we could do, and we are now able to work and take more loans because we have the skills.” Beatrice added.

The journey of Beatrice is representative of hundreds of other vulnerable genocide widows who have also received support through EVKREP and whose lives have changed for the better due to the support offered to them.