Eugénie and Jeannette are two young mothers who, thanks to the work of AVSI Rwanda through the Humura Schenge project, have regained their self-confidence and are working hard to achieve economic independence.
Eugénie lives in the district of Gicumbi, in Northern Rwanda, together with her very large family. She is 18 years old and became pregnant two years ago as a result of abuse. At the beginning, friends and relatives did not give her the support she needed: for this reason, she had a heavy psychological breakdown, which also led her to drop out of school.
In January 2020, Eugénie became one of the beneficiaries of AVSI Rwanda's Humura Shenge project. While her son was being cared for at the new educational center in Gicumbi, she started attending training courses, received psychological support and joined a group of teenage mothers in the village, who support each other.
Jeannette also went through a similar experience: at 16, she became pregnant following an episode of abuse. The boy later became her partner and, after a year, he lost his life in a car accident. Jeannette then returned to her parents' home in the Gatsibo district, in Eastern Rwanda.
Here, thanks to the door-to-door visits of AVSI Rwanda's community volunteers, she joined the Humura Shenge project and started attending courses on early childhood care and positive parenting skills.
Through the project, both girls received the initial support they needed to set up their own businesses: with funding from the project, Eugénie bought four goats and small plots of land, where she grows potatoes and peas. Today, she runs a small fruit and vegetable store, she is able to look after her son and her relationship with her family is improving.
Jeannette, too, is getting back on track: she joined a savings group with other single mothers, to which she has been contributing a small amount of money every week for more than a year and a half.
Through the funds dedicated to economic strengthening, AVSI has bought for her a goat, a pig and three rabbits, with which she has started a system of livestock sales at community level and paid the necessary fees for the education of her daughter, who is now regularly enrolled in kindergarten.
She now believes in herself and has an important project: she wants to fight malnutrition in her village by buying more small livestock.
About the project
Humura Shenge is a three-year project that started in January 2020, financed by the Italian Catholic Church, and implemented in cooperation with the Diocese of Byumba in the districts of Gicumbi and Gatsibo.
The actions implemented by AVSI Rwanda are addressed to 400 teenage mothers and their children, with the goal of assisting them in a process of social integration and economic development through:
- psychological assistance and management of listening groups
- organization of vocational training and parental educational courses
- rehabilitation of children's education centers
- organization of awareness-raising gatherings
- creation of savings groups