Ray of Hope Day 2

On the second day of our stay at Butare, Pastor David brought us to visit the different projects CASR is doing within the nearby community.

First stop is the woman co-op 'Imizero Association'. This co-op consists of 38 single moms and widows. Many of these woman and their children have AIDS. Amidst all the challenges, they are united by their will to survive and the need to take care of their kids.

The women plant mushrooms and sell them in the local market. Money goes to the co-op and are used at the end of the year to buy health insurance (3,000 RMF/400 USD per year per person) and any living essentials for the members and their children

Mushrooms are planted inside the hut
The process starts with planting mushroom pods that cost around 500 RWF (6 USD) each
Mushrooms are ready for harvest after 2weeks
Mushrooms are sold for 1,000 RMF (13 USD)/kilo
The co-op also has one cow, they are hoping to afford another one. Manure from cow is needed as fertilizer

One of the challenges faced by the co-op is the ability to plan and set aside money for on-going maintenance expenses that are required to make this a self sustaining business. An example, hoes that are needed to be replaced every 3 years.

Pictures taken from the field

The Nehemiah Association offers a 1 year sewing training program to young woman for free. Minimum qualifition required is reading comprehension.

The intent of the program is to equipped students with the skill to earn a living. There are, however, few job opportunities in this area. Ideally, the program's hope is to provide student with sewing machine post graduation so that they can earn a living. With financial constraint this vision is not possible at this time.

The teachers were students that graduated from the program. Adopting the train the trainer concept
The ladies sow bags which are sold in the local market
Good News Club, in partnership with Children Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), provides neighboring children and youth a place to hang out on Saturday. It offers activities such as bible study, singing and games

Pastor David, with his burden on compassion, spearheads all these activities. What impressed us most is that he himself tries out the concept first before introducing to the community

Pastor David has a mushroom lab to experiment on the optimal growing condition
Raising pig is his latest project. Having lost the recent batch of piglets, Pastor David is experimenting on the feed used
Tea time with Pastor David and his family at their home

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