After the training and the financial support of the Caritas Rwanda’s Graduation Project, funded by UNHCR, Samuel Hagirimana, 28, one of the Kiziba camp host community members, who lives in Karambo Village, Nyarusanga Village, Rwankuba Sector, Karongi District, in the Western Province of Rwanda, opened a shop. One year and half after, he has bought a farmland measuring approximately one hectare, a forest he plans to sell at a profit. He has also bought a cow to get manure and milk for his family.
Samuel is married and father of 3 children. Before Caritas Rwanda supported him through the Graduation Project, he used to grow crops on a small area, and the harvest wasn’t sufficient to feed his family. As a family classified in the first class of Ubudehe social categories, the diet was poor and getting the daily necessities was not easy. “I can’t lie, we used to eat once a day, and beans and cassava were enough for us.”
After being identified by the Graduation Project, he received various trainings. As he says he learned a lot from the one about creating and managing saving and internal lending community groups (SILC groups), and how to start a new business requires to conduct a market research. He added that he decided to open his shop because there were times he had to go for long journey to buy things not available in his neighbourhood. “That’s where I started. For example, we used to buy salt on the market day.”, says Samuel.
Other people are benefiting from his business
After receiving a cash grant of Frw 800,000 in two installments in 2022, Samuel opened a shop, to sell food such as sugar, rice, oil, salt, flour and other daily necessities such as body lotions, soaps, underwear, shoes and so on.
Samuel got Frw 180,000 from his SILC group, at the share out ceremony of Kiziba camp ant host community SILC groups, held in March 2023. “And it was the beginning before we knew the benefits of SILC groups. I will get more in the next year as I save Frw 5000 per week today. Last year, I use to save Frw 2000”, he says.
After he started his business, Samuel bought a farmland next to his small farm for Frw 470,000, and the two makes one 1 hectares. “Our family gets enough food to eat, and we sell a big part of the crops at the marker. Now we eat 3 meals per day”, he says.
Samuel also bought a cow for 370,000 Frw. His family drinks milk, and they get manure as he said.
He also bought a forest for 300,000 Frw and plans to sell it. In the meantime, he cuts wood and produce charcoal. He has already got Frw 100,000 from this business.
Since he started his shop, Samuel has been able to easily pay for community health insurance for his family and meals for the children at school.
His project benefited others as well
After buying his cow, Samuel hired a shepherd to care for it. For his farmland’s activities, he has two permanent workers, but during the planting and harvesting seasons there are more than 4 as he said.
Samuel plans to expand his business and go so sells his goods in the markets.
He thanks Caritas Rwanda and its donors, because the cash grant and trainings he received changed his life.