Empowered World View: How saving 100 FRW Resulted in a School

Poverty is fundamentally relational and its causes are radically spiritual in nature. Despite the many years of significant investments in development aid across the continent, current efforts  to  a  large  extend  seem  to  be  having  little  impact  and  poverty  levels remains a challenge.  Approaches seem to be treating only the symptoms and not the root causes of poverty. World Vision’s empowered worldview approach seeks to enable men, women, and children to ultimately change behaviors in  a manner that will ensure sustainability  and  positively  reinforce  resilience  capacities to absorb  shocks,  adapt  to  change, and transform risks into opportunities; in this line, World Vision Rwanda has trained different facilitators on transforming communities through Empowered World View Approach.

“Our children were not getting Early Childhood Education due to lack of schools in our community. We said: no, no, we must find solutions by ourselves”, says Triphony Nyirabashumba, the leader of Abasusurutsarugo Cooperative, with confidence in her eyes as she starts to recount.

In front of the World Vision Rwanda (WV Rwanda) team that paid a visit to Remera village, Nyamata District in Eastern part of Rwanda, Triphony is explaining how WV Rwanda training transformed their community and how they have been able to build a school for their children.

“It was so sad to see our children wandering, sometimes being violated while others in other communities are in school. We had to do our best to find a sustainable solution”, she explains.

“The idea started after the trainings provided by WV Rwanda on Transforming communities through Empowered World View.  22 of us were trained to be trainers of others in the village, and after that we formed 11 saving groups which later turned into a cooperative of 220 members.  Every member had to bring an 100 FRw coin (approximately 0.125 dollar cent) on Thursday of every week as saving share”, Triphony continues.

“We kept on saving and later asked a loan from the bank to complete our saved amount, so we bought a big land; we put our hands together and built this school of 4 rooms,” she adds, pointing her finger to the school building.

According to Isaac Bunani, a member of Abasusurutsarugo Cooperative, the school is not only serving their children but also generating money; that is, every child who joins the school pays school fees of 3 000 FRw each term, which helps them to pay back the bank loan.

Apart from building the school, the cooperative members also help one another; if one is in need of money to resolve a certain problem; they borrow it from the cooperative and return with some interests.

The school has capacity to serve 320 children at early childhood level, but the cooperative members need to build another one for Primary level.

“World Vision Rwanda has opened our minds through the trainings. So, we will not stop and sleep, we are keeping on and need to build another school for primary level”, says Isaac with a confident look.

By Emmanuel Ntakirutimana_WVR communications