[A changed Life]

A changed Life

Consolee Mukamurigo, a mother of six children has changed her business idea from selling local sorghum drinking (Kigage) to potatoes in order to get more savings and helping out her neighbours during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mukamurigo is 50 years old, lives in the Kagano cell Kitabi Sector in Nyamagabe District South province of Rwanda. She has been a widow since 15 years ago. Before joining Family Strengthening Programmes, she would feed her children after getting wages from cultivating for others, selling her domestic animals among other things.
Consolee said that the conditions of living of her children were very difficult because they would not get enough food to eat but also other necessities including school fees which were hard to come by. She stated, “we were very poor to the extent that our neighbours would not want us in the village. They advised me to sell my house and shift to another village.”

However, Consolee took care of her children alone and although it was not easy, they were all educated. “We used to eat once per day, my firstborn and second-born walked 12 kilometres to get to school. Normally, other students stay at school but I did not have money to pay for their boarding.
In March 2019, the family of Consolee was admitted in SOS Children’s Villages Family Strengthening Gikongoro programme after social inquiry. She was happily surprised to be selected as part of the program. “It was a miracle for our family to be selected in the programme and it was the beginning of our dream to eradicate poverty,” she added.

From the beginning, three children from the family were taken in charge by SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda through the program. They paid their school fees and gave them school materials. Consolee and other beneficiaries were trained about savings and to start a small income-generating activity. She said, “The SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda staff encouraged us to join the Villages Savings Association (VSLAs) which later on became the source of my success.”

She explained the source of strengths, courage and mindset change. “I was supported in psychosocial support and counselling because I did not have enough self-confidence and just after one year through VSLAs I saved Rwf 147,000. I used this savings to start my business of selling local sorghum drinking (Kigage). The business went well to the extent that I could get Rwf 120,000 per month unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic this business was closed.

Though this business of selling Kigage was not possible, it left her with an option of selling potatoes after realizing that the business of selling food items will continue regardless. However, the profit from food selling is less compared to that from kigage. “I decided this to avoid poverty as before. Although I now, get Rwf 80,000 per month, this helps my children to live in better condition,” Consolee said.
SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda initiated the Family-Strengthening Programme (FSP) in 2005. It is a community outreach programme empowering vulnerable families to overcome economic hardships, prevent child abandonment or neglect and to guarantee quality childcare.

The support provided by the programme includes access to essential services such as education and healthcare, as well as capacity building in management of income-generating activities, Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA), vegetable gardens, the construction of radical terraces, animal husbandry and a revolving system of giving cows.


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