Empowering Women in Rwanda

humanity unified international women in field

Humanity Unified International is on a mission: to empower 100 women living in extreme poverty in Rwanda with tools and education through a cooperative farming project. As travelers, we often think about the things we want to see or experience during our journeys – connecting with locals, thinking about the “how and where” of what we want to explore, visiting friends or family in these locations, and more – but travel also affords us a first glimpse into the culture and the daily lives of locals. We see how others live. We learn about social or family rituals celebrated abroad. We hear stories about traditions and the importance of continuing celebrations. We try new cuisines. And, we embrace differences – though I’ve come to find that we share many more similarities that bind us rather than differences.

For me, travel gives the opportunity to completely immerse oneself in local culture, and to really experience a destination as the locals would, too. Personally, it saddens me when some approach travel only from the lens of a long list where items get checked off, rather than fully embracing the chance to truly experience what a country has to offer, and what you can do as a traveler to positively influence the local environment and help communities. That’s why I am proud to be associated with Travel+SocialGood. Here’s what they stand for: “We are a non-profit organization and community aimed at propelling the travel industry to meet its potential for global positive impact.  Formed 2013 in partnership with the UN Foundation’s +SocialGood network, we believe in making the travel industry more sustainable.”

humanity unified international families in rwanda
Photo courtesy of Humanity Unified International.

As a member of the Travel+SocialGood network, I applaud efforts from fellow travelers who strive to make such a positive, global impact wherever they go. One non profit that’s also part of the Travel+SocialGood network and that is fueling positive change and making a big impact is Humanity Unified International.  Founded by husband and wife team, Maria and Anthony Russo, Humanity Unified International will work with a local Rwandan organization to provide 100 women living in extreme poverty a chance to be part of a farming cooperative project, where they will be given rights, health, and business education to help their families.

humanity unified international women in rwanda
Photo courtesy of Humanity Unified International.

Humanity Unified International will be providing “high-quality sees, an irrigation system and storage units” to increase agricultural yields, while empowering women to work (also ensuring access to health insurance and food for their families), and giving them to the chance to send their children to school.

humanity unified international with rwandan women
Photo courtesy of Humanity Unified International

According to Humanity Unified International, “Last month, we had the privilege of meeting many of the women in their homes to learn about their lives and the struggles they encounter on a daily basis. Many of the women said their families could go days without food if they or their husbands could not find steady work. Other basic needs such as access to clean water, healthcare and education were also out of reach for many families.”

humanity unified international with woman in rwanda
Photo courtesy of Humanity Unified International.

Humanity Unified International recently launched a fundraising campaign in order to help empower the women in Rwanda.

According to the team, “The first phase of the project will provide health, rights and business education for 100 women. This includes rent for the training center, fees for training experts, transportation (the women are too poor to afford public transportation) and materials such as pencils, notebooks and whiteboards. It will also fund an irrigation system and farming tools for the women.”

Here’s a breakdown of how they will use the funds raised:

  • $4,000 will fund compensation for experts and advocacy organizations for each of the trainings (this includes gender equality training for husbands of the women).
  • $160 to fund materials for women for the trainings
  • $240 to fund presentation materials and computer maintenance for trainings
  • $1,600 will fund fees for the training center
  • $300 to fund transportation for the women to all trainings
  • $2,500 to fund compensation (for 6 months) for a local education officer to oversee training programs
  • $6,200 to fund irrigation pumps and farming tools for the women

Learn more about the Humanity Unified International project and all the details of the project, and donate if you’d like to make a difference here

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