Dieudonne helping his mother in the greenhouse

Former school dropout now topping his class

Dieudonne lives in Gakoni village, a place known for agriculture. When you walk down the marshlands in this village, you are fascinated by the good-looking vegetables and fruits planted there. Farmers in this village grow vegetables all the time because, being in a marshland, there is enough water for them.

Eighteen-year-old Dieudonne, was born in this village. His family was not fortunate enough to own a piece of land to grow crops. The family of eight struggled to have two meals a day, and at some point, they slept on empty stomachs.

Dieudonne and his siblings would often get sent back home from school for not having proper uniforms and other school materials. Their mother would sometimes get causal jobs that earned her Rwf 2,000 ($2) per day, which would not be enough to cover all the needs of the family.

Staying in school made no sense for Dieudonne because in a typical week he would only go to school once or not at all. He then decided to drop out of school. He used to spend the day on the streets trying to find something to eat, and would go back home in the evening. “My mother was always worried about me being on the streets thinking that someday I would get in big trouble”, he narrates.

Dieudonne’s mother joined a savings group that was formed in her village. She joined to try finding ways of sustaining her family. The group was made up of people from Ubudehe (wealth ranking category) two. World Vision, through its THRIVE (Transforming Household Resilience in Vulnerable Environments) project trained the group on the Empowered Worldview approach, greenhouse management, and trees production, among other sessions.

Muzedukore group preparing a green house of trees
Muzedukore group members preparing a green house of trees

 

Later, the group turned into a producer group called Muzedukore, based in Rusizi district. After the training on trees production, the group immediately built a greenhouse and started producing trees. With support from World Vision, and their hard work and determination as a group, they signed a contract to produce over 45,000 trees to be distributed in their community.

Currently, the group is preparing 15,000 mangoes that will be grafted, along with 30,000 lemons and oranges.

With the contract worth Rfw 6,000,000 ($6000), the group invested the money into growing vegetables and maize. Group members testify that being part of the group is the best thing that happened to them. Through the group, they access loans from VisionFund to expand their businesses.

Dieudonne's mother, like other members of the group, received a loan from VisionFund to rent a piece of land where she grows crops to feed her family and reserves some to take to the market.

Dieudonne chatting with his mother at home
Dieudonne chatting with his mother at home

 

“We now have enough food to eat, and my siblings get all the scholastic materials they need for school”, says Dieudonne.