Sunday, August 21, 2011

SPARK CONNECTS TUBEHO HIV ASSOCIATION TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY.

Tubeho HIV Association will receive support of 13,000 US Dollars from the American Embassy in Rwanda very soon after they have been connected by Spark MicroGrants.

Tubeho HIV Association is made up of 110 members. It is located in Karama sector, Huye district, and Southern province. It was formed on May 26, 2010 by nuns who own The Karama Health Centre to support people who are HIV positive in their area. People in The Tubeho association include men and women who are helped to get medicine very easily and they are being followed up by nurses to make sure that they are taking medicine as required. The Tubeho HIV Association there to enable its members to understand what to do in their development and bring again hope of living in people infected with HIV AIDS.


Spark Microgrants visited this association in November 2010 so to see how these people survive, as its mission is helping communities by giving a little significant support. This mission fulfills and puts in practice different ideas coming from communities visited that are to be helped. Communities share ideas during several meetings describing their area and proposing a project to be implemented.

After collecting information about Tubeho HIV Association, Spark MicroGrants was interested in supporting this association by providing a small grant. Then, Spark proposed for members of this association to think about pertinent projects for their purpose.

Courageously, after several meetings analyzing their life and challenges faced and exchanging ideas of how to handle their problems and care their life, this association set out many different projects including breeding, crop trading, weaving, soap making and honey project with the aim of fighting stigma in business.

After this impressive presentation, Spark asked them to choose their best productive project and the association agreed to do honey project." The project will reinforce people's sustainable life", Joseph MUKASA, the community secretary asserted.



Sasha Fisher, the Spark Microgrants Executive Director, did a great job of presenting the honey project to the American Embassy in Rwanda, and then the Embassy accepted to give $13,000 US to empower and support the project.

This Support will help the community to build the bee breeding place and it will help to get all needed items to implement the project include beehives, materials to help to harvest honey, materials to save hone include buckets, Jeri cans, and materials to serve honey with, including mugs and cups. This support will also help to get a bicycle to be used in transporting honey to the market.

Besides the community needs materials to start the project, the support will increase their bee breeding capacity through training." Training is a must because every community member will know their participation in the project and make sure that they are stakeholders of this project", Immaculee MUKARUSANGA, the community president argued.

Not only will community members have food security, but they also ensure that this project will help them to pay family medical insurance, school fees and materials, and they will provide for their neighbors honey local market.

Furthermore, after the community was connected to the American Embassy, Spark Microgrants provided four goats for four poorest community members. Those goats were received by members chosen by their fellows include Mukamana, a widow without any land and animal, Nkurana, a widower living alone in his house and poorest, Mukanshuti, a widow who had no land and no animal and Mukankwira, a widow who care for many children in her house.

This was not only to make progress; also Spark contributed to the people's market place of ideas, the most remarkable example is that people got advised about how they should behave even if they are infected with HIV/AIDS.

Spark MicroGrants helped Tubeho HIV Association to achieve a way of living a better future by connecting the association to the American Embassy. Due to this connection, the association members proposed to go all around them awakening their neighbors to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS. This includes telling their neighbors HIV bad effects, teaching them to fight against stigmatization and persuading them that after infection people continue to live when making sure that they treat themselves well.

Tubeho is a brave association with people who have potential to work hard in order to make change in their area. As confirmed by members, from the production they will help their neighbors by providing them with small grants. They are people who live difficult lives as they are HIV positive. To achieve their changes they need advice about how to receive themselves as who they are and they need people to keep caring for them in building hope of a better future. Hopefully, this awesome support from the American Embassy to Tubeho is going to comfort the association members and awaken neighbors to get tested and care for their health.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Animals Arrive in Bukomero!

Last Monday I visited Bukomero to give the leaders of the association their follow up money, which totaled $300. It was a very exciting day as they received the money and made plans to go to the local animal market to buy pigs, goats, and chickens. A week later, on Tuesday, I went back to Bukomero to see the new animals.


On Tuesday, I had the chance to see most of the new animals, who were proudly brought by their owners to our meeting. In the meeting we talked about how they were going to keep the grant sustainable. They also told me that they went as a large group to pick out the animals. This is really great that they went as a group to the market because it shows how involved and committed the community is to the project.


A few minutes after I arrived in Bukomero, a group of children aged between 4 and 8 came up to me holding their family’s new chickens and baby pigs. It was great to see their joy associated with the animals, and is an example of how much pride an animal can provide a family.

Bukomero was able to purchase 24 chickens, 4 goats, and 8 pigs with their follow up money of $300. The goats are a few months old and will reproduce within the next few months. The goat group also purchased a male goat that will make it easier for the goats to reproduce. The pig group also purchased a male pig, but because the pigs are just a month or two old, it will be around 7 months before they can reproduce. The chickens are full-grown, and will start laying eggs soon.




While some of the families who received chickens and pigs received animals during the first phase of the grant, their groups decided to give them a second animal because their first animals had died due to sickness. But the majority of the families who received animals hadn’t received animals before
. Furthermore, for the great majority of people who received animals this week have no other animals, thus they were very excited to receive an animal.

During the meeting, I could tell that the people who received animals were very excited. Throughout the meeting they were holding their animals proudly and all wanted to pose for photos with their animals. But my favorite sight were the pig owners who each had their baby pigs either in their laps or next to them. Throughout the meeting they were petting their baby pigs, showing how much they cared for them. For me this was a great site and let me feel reassured that the animals are in great homes and will be taken care of. Bukomero is now in a great place to continue their grant sustainably!