Unintended pregnancies are a remarkable issue in Rwanda. Due to culture and traditions, single mothers experience social exclusion. The single mothers’ children live uncomfortable life associated with their mothers’ social exclusion and poor living conditions hence some getting malnourished. Most of girls who get pregnant at their young age do not get a chance to develop any profession because they drop out school, hence live struggling to feed their kids. The combined factors contribute to a miserable life of the ladies and their kids without hope of future.
UMUCYO project was brought as a solution to the challenge; together with Andrea Wien funds were raised to initiate UMUCYO Project. Where single mothers can be trained sewing skills to develop them a profession that they may live a financial independent life. The project is designed to develop those single mothers into professional sewing technicians with relevant life skills to adapt to the environment through training.
The project is running in Huye district, southern province, since 2018.
The name Umucyo is inspired by the Kinyarwandan translation for “Bright”. Bright because the beneficiaries we selected are/were living in poor living conditions and never offered a chance to develop any professional skills. This is their time to shine as bright as the sun and stars. Therefore we chose the colors blue and yellow as inspiration theme of their shop.
Feeding facilities Distribution
Our Beneficiaries were/are meeting difficulties in their life as they are from financially unstable backgrounds. They struggle to get nourishment for their kids. As a constraint of training progress, it is not easy to train someone wondering about how to feed her kid tonight. That is why we monthly provide feeding facilities to the beneficiaries to be able to feed their babies. We also give them some trainings about Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) aiming at stopping the case of unintended pregnancies. In addition to SRH, they also received training about how to prepare a healthy diet.
Accessing health services in Rwanda is made easy by the presence of health insurance which paid in annually. Still, some are not able to pay the health insurance making it difficult to access the services, the case for our beneficiaries. We just set a system of paying health insurance to the beneficiaries of Umucyo project which makes them and their kids safe, as long as when health insurance is paid you have to pay a very little amount of money per hospital visit. After 7 months of training, a recognizable smile and community compliment confess a bright future for the beneficiaries.
Today, we have 4 beneficiaries, and they are all able to make clothes, bags, table mats, keyholders, sac a main ( ladies’s handbag), mittens,…