Educating Women in rural Rwinkwavu with Modern Farming Methods to Accelerate the Impact of Literacy and Social Economic Development

Agriculture is a historical mainstay of Rwanda’s economy. Employment in agriculture contributes 62.3 percent of total employment in Rwanda, occupying 71 percent of all females employed and 53 percent of males.  It remains a key sector in Rwanda’s efforts to foster private-sector development. 

Agriculture is a priority sector in Rwanda’s Vision 2050 national development strategy.  The government aims to replace subsistence farming with fully monetized and technology-intensive commercial agriculture and agro-processing by 2050.  Principal agricultural exports are coffee, tea, and some value-added agricultural products such as canned tomatoes, honey, french beans, passion fruit, macadamia nuts, and mushrooms.  Rwanda exports live animals, unprocessed meat, and dairy products to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  The increase in flight routes in and out of Rwanda with RwandAir and other carriers to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia has facilitated an increase in fresh agricultural exports from Rwanda.  

Rwanda’s agricultural advantages include its high altitude and moderate temperatures, which allow for year-round cultivation.  In 2018, a study sponsored by USAID identified export opportunities in fresh crops such as passion fruit, snow peas, chilis, and mushrooms.  There are also opportunities in input provision, crop aggregation for export, and cold chain logistics.  Rwanda is landlocked and the land is divided into small parcels, which poses a challenge to large commercial farming but can allow specialty crops.  Rwanda will need to increase the extent of cultivated land under irrigation while importing increased amounts of inputs (such as seeds, fertilizers, and small-scale machinery) to achieve its value-added agricultural development goals.

Educating mothers on farming in rural Rwanda is a crucial step towards the development and empowerment of their communities and their journey towards vision 2050. This project seeks to provide access to sustainable agricultural techniques and knowledge, enabling moms to secure a safe and nutritious food supply for their families. Further, it will help them gain skills to create additional income through selling surplus produce at local markets. The benefits and implications of this project are far-reaching, as it can contribute towards improving health outcomes, increasing literacy levels, strengthening economic security and even reducing gender disparities within Rwinkwavu’s rural villages. By making these resources accessible on the ground level with strong support systems in place, moms will be better equipped with the necessary tools needed for success in both their personal lives as well as those of their community.

Understanding Hunger’s Contribution to Illiteracy

In rural Rwinkwavu and Rwanda in general, food insecurity and poverty are two of the main causes that contribute to illiteracy. Despite progress in recent years, many families still lack access to proper nutrition due to limited resources. This results in malnutrition and hunger for children which can lead to an inability or difficulty in focusing on education as a result of physical fatigue. Malnutrition not only affects children’s physical health but also their mental development, leading to lower academic performance as well as decreased attention spans in class and overall difficulty learning new concepts. Additionally, impoverished households often have little money left over after meeting basic needs such as food and shelter, resulting in fewer educational resources available for students. Without proper materials such as books or other suitable study tools, it is difficult for them to engage with their studies meaningfully at home or school.

The impact of poor nutrition on education is immense; without sufficient energy from eating nutritious foods kids cannot concentrate nor learn optimally, leading directly into low literacy rates within the country’s population. To address this issue it is important for governments and organizations alike to provide support systems that help ensure adequate access to nutritiously balanced meals year round so that all children can benefit from improved cognitive functioning set up by quality nutrition intake. In addition, providing more opportunities for higher education further incentivizes people who want to pursue furthering their knowledge beyond primary schooling levels thus increasing literacy rates even more drastically throughout Rwanda.

The Impact of Educating moms on Farming vegetable and fruits

In addition to the potential for improved health outcomes, education on vegetable and fruit farming can also have numerous economic benefits. By teaching mothers how to cultivate their own produce, rural families would be able to supplement their income and fight the malnutrition in their families. With increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables, not only will nutrition improve but so too will the quality of life in these communities as a whole. Furthermore, with more resources available locally there is potential for women-owned businesses such as farms or small grocery stores that could help create sustainable job opportunities within the community itself, leading towards greater financial stability among residents.

Education of vegetable and fruit farming is also beneficial on an environmental level.

Overall it’s clear that educating moms on vegetable and fruit farming has many positive impacts across multiple areas: health & nutrition, economics & job creation, environment & sustainability — all key components necessary for true development of Rwanda’s rural women and we are grateful that Ready for Reading and LitWorld partnership is making this happen.

Building a Sustainable Model of Education

To build a sustainable model of education, it is important to create community partnerships. This involves working closely with local organizations and businesses in order to provide resources that can be used for educational purposes. This project is developed to be a learning model to the community. Members who are coming to learn from the work that is being done by Moms. The project itself is impressing and attracting all people from in the neighborhood and they are coming to learn how they can go and duplicate the model in their villages.

Constructing a comprehensive support system for stakeholders and learners is also critical in developing a successful model of education. It begins by creating an environment where parents must also feel like they are part of the process; offering workshops on relevant topics such as parenting strategies or financial literacy helps ensure families understand how best to help their children succeed academically while feeling supported themselves throughout this journey.

In conclusion, the education of farming to mothers in rural Rwanda is an essential step towards improving quality of life and economic stability within these communities. By providing access to sustainable agricultural techniques and knowledge, moms are better equipped with the necessary tools needed for success in both their personal lives as well as those of their community. The benefits that this project can bring include improved health outcomes, increased literacy levels, strengthened economic security and even reduced gender disparities. It is important however to establish a comprehensive support system which includes building strong community partnerships while also providing extensive resources & guidance for students/teachers/families so that everyone feels connected during this journey. Going forward it will be crucial for governments and organizations alike to provide continued support so that families can benefit from improved nutrition intake leading directly into higher educational performance rates throughout Rwinkwavu’s rural village.

Rwanda Hosts Women Deliver Conference

Last week Rwanda hosted the Women Deliver Conference, the largest global conference on gender equality,  bringing together 6,000 in-person and 200,000 online participants from around the world; including grassroots advocates, multilateral governments, the private sector, philanthropies, and girls experiencing embedded gender inequity.

A HUGE THANK YOU to our partner Global GLOW for sponsoring 4 girls from the Glow Clubs in Rwinkwavu to attend as delegates along with Jean Marie Habimana, Ready for Reading Director who heads the Program and club mentors. We were thrilled to meet and spend the week with Global GLOW Founder, Kylie Schuyler and the GLOW Team from the US.

It was an incredible opportunity to hear from Rwanda’s President Kagame and first lady Jeannette Kagame, Michelle Obama, Melinda French Gates and many others virtually, learn from global gender activists (like THE Malala!) the RfR delegates were thrilled to add their voices to this global movement, make connections, advocate, inspire and be inspired!   

“Lots of learning took place this week as our girls saw advocacy in action from global changemakers to peers all addressing the issues around embedded gender inequity and the way forward. This conference equals years of formal education/learning…it deserves credit.”  Jean Marie Habimana, RfR Director

We capped off the week with a 1-day Global GLOW summit in Rwinkwavu at the Library/Learning Center. The GLOW Team joined the 400 girls and mentors from all the clubs and surprised us with an “Outstanding Partner Award”.  

What a life-changing week this has been for our girl delegates, girls club members, mentors and for our community, as together we continue to move the needle forward for a more gender equal world.  

Classy Awards Finalist 2023!

Ready for Reading is proud to announce we’ve been chosen as a top 50 finalist for the 2023 Classy Awards. The Classy Awards honors the impactful work innovative nonprofits like us are implementing around the globe. We’re thrilled to be recognized for our work expanding equal access to literacy and education in Rwanda.  

Classy, an affiliate of GoFundMe, is a Public Benefit Corporation and giving platform that enables nonprofits to connect supporters with the causes they care about. Since 2011, Classy has helped nonprofits mobilize and empower the world for good by helping them raise over $5 billion.

11 Classy Awards will be distributed and from now until April 25th, you can vote for us for the People’s Choice Award, a category decided entirely by the public.  

Please Support Ready for Reading by VOTING TODAY! 

Winners will be announced on June 7th at the Collaborative Classy 2023 event in Philadelphia.

We’d love to receive this recognition and the opportunity it affords to get Ready for Reading’s work in front of more foundations and individuals and boost our online fundraising capacity.

PLEASE SHARE on social media and ask family and friends to VOTE for Ready for Reading. #ClassyAwards