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The 1994 genocide left one million people dead in Rwanda, forcing thousands to flee their homes and leaving behind a legacy of fractured communities and vastly reduced livestock numbers.

Landlocked and hilly, Rwanda is also one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, and this places huge pressures on the environment. Most families only have tiny plots of land, with degraded soils. In addition, HIV/Aids rates are high, and malnutrition is widespread.

Due to its turbulent history, we place a special focus on social development work in Rwanda, helping neighbours from different ethnic backgrounds come together. Predominantly working with women, orphaned children and people with HIV/AIDS, our approach has proved so popular the Rwandan government has adopted it into their national policy.

Click on the icons to find out more about each project.

Empowering Coffee Communities - Bugesera

In the coffee growing communities of Bugesera and Nyaruguru district a lack of knowledge, skills and means, especially among women and girls, to implement sustainable farming practices and manage natural resources effectively is limiting families’ ability to produce enough food to eat and surplus crops to sell. Poverty and hunger are exacerbated by gender inequalities both in the home and across the community. Through Ripple Effect’s trainings in gender equality, women within the smallholder farming communities of Nyaruguru and Bugesera Districts of Rwanda will have the opportunity to take up leadership positions, develop their confidence, and influence positive change at the local level.

Additional trainings will engage women and their families in sustainable farming strategies and enterprise development while delivering access to clean water and the adoption of good hygiene practices to protect against COVID-19. The goal of the project is to create sustainable improvements to gender equality and families’ health, food security, and livelihoods.

This project works throughout Bugesera and Nyaruguru Districts

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Greening Girinka East

250,000 cows have been distributed through the Girinka programme since it was initiated by the Government of Rwanda in 2006. The programme addresses rural poverty and malnutrition, but more could be done to ensure farmers are resilient to the effects of climate change. Poor animal management practices also contribute to the impact of climate change through deforestation, over-grazing and methane emissions.

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Jersey Inka Nziza Zikamwa - Rulindo

In Rwanda, the majority of the population depend on small-scale farming for their livelihoods. But, because productivity is low, many are living in poverty and 44% of children under five are stunted due to malnutrition. Many farmers don't know how to manage their livestock well and unpredictable weather patterns make farming even more challenging.

With support from Jersey Overseas Aid, we are working with 12,000 households to improve dairy cow management and increase milk production. Jersey cows generally consume less food and water per litre of milk produced – making them ideal for Rwandan smallholders. We are therefore working to increase the numbers of Jersey cows by importing semen and training Artificial Insemination technicians. This project will also work to strengthen value chains especially for milk through support to the establishment and functioning of Milk Collection Points & Milk Collection Centres in the community so people can sell their surplus milk produce to earn income to improve their livelihoods.

This project works throughout Rulindo, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Nyanza, Nyaruguru and Bugesera districts.

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Jersey Inka Nziza Zikamwa - Kayonza

Jersey Inka Nziza Zikamwa - Bugesera

Empowering Coffee Communities - Nyaruguru

Orora Neza

The district of Nyamagabe is among the hungriest and most food insecure districts in Rwanda and farmers are struggling to obtain the required amount and quality of fodder for their livestock. Through this project, fodder multiplication sites will be established to promote local access to fodder seeds and planting materials, improving animal nutrition. Farmers will also build their capacities to increase quality milk production and sustainable access to markets for their produce, improving their livelihood and nutrition security.

Rwamagana widows empowerment

Working with 431 families, this project will improve nutrition by increasing skills in sustainable agriculture techniques to improve soil fertility and manage pests. The families will also gain skills in marketing and financial management through the establishment of village saving and loan schemes and income generating projects.

Agnes Mukamana 2

“I have passed on what I have learned to my son, Oliver, so that he participates in all the jobs around the house and doesn’t think certain roles are for men or women.”

Agnes Jyambere Project, Rwanda

Levels of food security have risen from 18% to 87%.

Average annual income has risen from $150 to $798.

The percentage of women now involved in decision making has risen to 89%.