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Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC): They are no longer worried about their survivor thanks to Caritas Rwanda/UNCHR GRADUATION PILOT

La Caritas Un pilier de leur survie

Since January 2020 CARITAS Rwanda is implementing the Project named ‘Graduation Pilot 2020; Pathways to Economic Inclusion and self-reliance of the refugees and their host communities in RWANDA’.

The project aimed to improve the self-reliance and livelihoods of 840 refugees and host communities in Nyabiheke and Kiziba refugee camps and urban refugees in Kigali by providing integrated and multi-sectoral services, including financial literacy, income-generating agriculture and livestock promotion, job creation-oriented vocational training, market linkages, and the provision of seed capital for business plan implementation. But the project was able to reach a total of 836 people.

The project seeks to enhance their dignity and free them from dependency and humanitarian assistance. The targeted results are; Easy access to financial services, easy access to self-employment/business, easy access to agricultural/livestock production and provision of sectoral cash grants.

For achieving these outputs Caritas Rwanda organized and conducted trainings of People of Concern on three Modules: SILC Methodology, Financial literacy and Agriculture and Livestock promotion. After training of PoC selected in the range of 18-59 of age (vulnerable but capable to work), every PoC received $500 of grants to run individual business according to his/her business plan, and all PoC were gathered into saving groups.

New approach of saving and Caritas team strong monitoring and mentoring of PoC into their businesses and into their saving groups are two keys of project success.

On the 14thJuly 2021 one of saving groups created at Nyabiheke Site,"TWITEZIMBERE - GATSIBO" SILC Group operating in Nyakagarama Village, Gatsibo Cell closed a SILC cycle of 12 months and conduct share-out activity. During the 12 months, the total number of saving meetings was 53  weeks, valued at 1,949,100 Rwf and total worth of 2,330,300 Rwf. Each member received his/ her share where the maximum of share was 160,150 Rwf and the minimum was 98,750 Rwf.

Solange Uwimana, 19 years old, is one of the PoC of the Caritas Rwanda/UNHCR Graduation Pilot Project that helped her with livestock farming, giving her the opportunity to take care of her family and herself today. Uwimana says that she, her mother and two sisters used to live a very difficult life, finding food was a big problem, she had to go and cultivate for others to be able to feed her family. With the support of the UNHCR/Graduation Pilot project, she invested in agriculture, and started raising goats.

Every week, she saved no less than 2,000 frw, after taking care of her family of course. After a year of saving, each of her group received their share in July and she received about 120,000 Frw.

"Caritas encouraged me to start farming and raising livestock, starting with 5 goats and now, at the end of the year, I have 18 goats," says Uwimana.

Uwimana also says her goal is that in the next six months she will be able to buy a cow that will allow her to have enough manure for her fields and milk for her family. So, she is hopeful to remove her family from poverty.

Mukakagina Salama, a 40 years old woman, is also a member of the TWITEZIMBERE_ GATSIBO SILC group. At the time of the share-out, she was among the highest earner people, as she received about 160,150 FRW with other two people.

Using grants from Caritas Rwanda-UNHCR/Graduation Pilot project, she extended her agriculture activities and now she is getting enough food from her fields.

She says that with her family of 5 people; her husband and 3 children, life was not easy, before she started her project of farming and selling beans, maize and sorghum.

"Providing children with school supplies and money was always a big challenge in my family, not to mention food and everything else. But today we are able to manage everything without any problems, I have harvested more than 400kg of beans this year, and I have started to build a 4-sheets family house, I expect to finish it by the end of this year." says Salama

After closing this SILC cycle, all 19 members including 13 Female and 6 Men restarted new cycle of 12 months. They are thankful to the Caritas Rwanda for supporting them to become self-reliant and regain dignity through UNCHR Graduation Pilot Project.

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