Early in this month, I visited a group of graduates in Cyanika sector of Nyamagabe district. The group is composed by 10 men and 10 women. They started by saving money and, they were able to save up to 1,200,000 RwF. They are now doing other income generating activities.
Caption 1: Group members gathering in their rented land for farming activities (onion).
They were enthusiastic for working together. Most of them said working together gave them strength and opportunity to know each other, but also for each of them to know him/herself well. From their saving, they were able to rent a land for their farming activities. They have also started bee-keeping activities in order to extend their activities and income. I had the opportunity to meet with group members after their work; in that meeting, they have expressed how much they found helpful working together as graduates of sociotherapy sessions. This group is attracting other people who did not attend sociotherapy sessions. So far 5 people have joined this group of graduates and were thankful for becoming members.
Caption 2: Exchanging ideas and testimonies in a meeting after their farming activities
They have also shared things related to their cooperative like the management of their saved money, they have accountant books which were given by Care International. The group members are taking loans from their saving, and they reimburse with the rate of 5 %.They said that this is very helpful and easier for them to find money for their urgent family duties. Furthermore, it is easier for them to reimburse compared to loan from formal micro-finance. Group members realized that togetherness is the key to resources. “We didn’t know before sociotherapy that we could be solutions to our problems, but through group work, this is becoming a reality.”
Story by Felix Bigabo: Coordinator Southern Province