With tears rolling down her cheeks, Francine could hardly hold back her sad emotions while she described how her family used to have only one meal a day because they could not afford two meals. She further recalls that whenever her family had two meals a day, they would celebrate because the family was mainly used to one meal a day.
Francine 31, is a mother of four. She has been married to her husband Jackson for the last 12 years. The family lives in Rukara sector, Kayonza District in Gwiza Area Programme. Francine is a businesswoman who sells beans in Rukara market. Before Francine and her husband met World Vision, their marriage was at stake and the children’s lives were also in a sorry state. The family was in the first category of wealth ranking in Rwanda commonly known as Ubudehe, and is comprised of the poorest people.
Francine and her husband struggled to sustain their family. Due to the extreme poverty at home, the family always had conflicts which also affected the children. The family shifted from one house to another because they had failed to pay their rent and the landlords would end up chasing them from the house. The children’s moral behaviour was affected because they had no permanent place to call home.
In 2018, World Vision trained a group of people on the Empowered Worldview model –a training in which Francine and her husband participated. This model aims at changing people’s mindset so they gain self-confidence and become resilient. Francine was completely changed by the training. Over time, the conflicts in Francine’s family reduced as the trainings carried on. She and her husband became determined to work together for the good of their children.
“In the training, we learned about mindset change and believing in God for a better life. I sat down with my husband and reflected on the trainings we had been given. We decided to start saving some money from what we got from digging on people’s farms”, says Francine.
Francine continued saving until she had five dollars (US$). She then bought bananas and avocados and started selling them on the street. From the five dollars, Francine got a profit of 15 dollars. She then borrowed 10 dollars from her savings group to expand her business. She moved her business to the market where she started selling beans.
“I learned from the training that I have to consume little and save more, and since then saving has become my culture. I am a member in two savings groups”, adds Francine.
The training did not only change Francine’s self-confidence, it also united her with her husband, with whom she had always been in conflict. The couple started working together; Francine bringing all the money she got from the business for planning together. She and Jackson then decided on how much they saved and the remaining money would be used to cater for home needs.
After paying back the loan, Francine borrowed 20 dollars from her group. She rented a land and grew potatoes. The couple harvested over 25 sacks of potatoes which they sold and got over 200 dollars. The couple then bought a plot of land where they would construct their house.
Francine and her husband continued with their farming of potatoes. The next season was not as good as the first one, but they made enough money to start building their house. Today, the family lives in it.
One of Francine and Jackson's children Thierry, 11, is registered under World Vision’s sponsorship programme, and is happy that his family now has their own house.
“My parents used to spend a lot of money on paying house rent. I thank World Vision for supporting me and for changing my family’s life”, says Thierry.
Owning a house is a thing that pleases everyone in Francine’s household.
Thierry now lives a comfortable life. Francine’s family is very grateful for the Empowered Worldview trainings and all the support that World Vision has provided to them.