Vision – To help change the lives of women and their families and together build a stronger relationship with God.
Purpose – To build, strengthen, and support women’s cooperatives throughout Africa.
Mission – In partnership with Africa Hope Initiatives (Kigali, Rwanda), Africa Women’s Hope Initiatives (“AWHI”) is a spiritually based ministry with a goal to provide women opportunities to (1) earn a savings bonus or (2) secure a microloan. A savings bonus or microloan allow women to start or grow small businesses under the oversight of a local women’s cooperative.
What is a savings bonus? The women’s cooperative agrees to save a certain amount of money. Once their goal is reached, they receive a savings bonus. The amount of the savings bonus is dependent upon the amount received in donations and the number of women’s cooperatives visited in any given year.
What is a Microloan? A $50 or $100 microloan helps lift women and their families out of poverty. The loan amount is based on the need in the area/region a women lives and their ability to pay it back. The microloan program is a zero interest program. Payments are made weekly and the cooperative group meets regularly, pray together and share the experiences of their business. Each cycle is sixteen weeks (four months), and once the loan payment is completed, an evaluation meeting is held. The loan is returned to the borrowers by adding the capital from the business, which is referred to as graduation of capital.
Africa Women’s Hope Initiatives Core Values
These values will be at the forefront of all decisions related to the ministry:
Message From Founder- I have been traveling to Rwanda with One Church (Manchester, NH) since 2011. For most of those years, my destination was the village of Gasarabwayi in Eastern Province of Rwanda. I began learning about their women’s cooperative and its challenges. This cooperative originally consisted of a few women with fledgling small businesses.
During my visit in 2019, I proposed the idea of a savings bonus to the group’s president, Rosa. I offered to match whatever amount the women’s cooperative saved within a year through donations. With this opportunity, Rosa changed the old cooperative into a savings cooperative.
In only eight months, the cooperative welcomed 19 new members and was able to save over $1,000 USD. As most of these entrepreneurial women earn an average of $4.25 USD per week, this was an amazing accomplishment! I asked the women about the benefits of belonging to the cooperative. Below are just some of the comments women shared about membership:
In May 2022, I, alone, returned to Rwanda and met with 7 women’s cooperative groups, 2 in the city of Kigali and the rest in rural villages. I learned about how their cooperatives operated and what challenges they encountered. Challenges range from COVID – 19 to no “brick and mortar” buildings to sell goods, to drought affecting fruit farmers. Through generous donations, I had the opportunity to offer 6 of the cooperatives a savings bonus. After this trip I took the initial step and created Africa Women’s Hope Initiatives. God placed this ministry on my heart since 2019. I thank God for his patience and showing me that I am capable of being his hands and feet in Rwanda and throughout East Africa. The goal is to offer a savings bonus to more women cooperatives in Rwanda and East Africa as well as individual micro loans. These bonuses and microloans will assist in starting and expanding small businesses within the cooperatives.
Love and Blessings,
Women’s cooperatives empower women and foster economic development by changing their socio-economic status. Cooperatives create jobs, create long-term savings opportunities and impact entire families socially, economically and spiritually.
AWHI provides a sustainable solution to help families in Rwanda and East Africa. As part of the solution, women find purpose by learning business skills, by discovering their self worth, by growing a small business and by lifting their families out of poverty.
As a result, families can afford to send their children to school and to feed their children nutritious meals. Helping 30 women in a cooperative, helps 30 families which helps entire communities.