The Rwandan Hope Project
The Rwandan Hope Project (the Project) is a registered 501 (C)(3). It’s objective is to help the ’94 Tutsi genocide surviving widows and orphans and the street children in Rwanda by improving their health and standard of living through food and income generation in the form of a chicken farming business and a school/refuge for street children. The Project was initiated by the Good News of Peace and Development (GNPD) for Rwanda. It is supported by the Whitehead Family.
In 2015, Linda Whitehead was a U. S. nurse on a medical mission to Rwanda. Upon returning home, she was motivated to do something that would have a positive impact. She remembered the response the genocide widows had given when asked what they would like in order to better their situation. They immediately answered that they wanted a chicken farm. And thus, the Rwandan Hope Project was born.
Our future plans include providing the financing, guidance, and education to the remaining 28,000 widows and orphans of the ’94 genocide against the Tutsis, as well as the continued support of the street children in Rwanda.
Rwandan Hope Project's Focus Areas
Irrigation For Food Security
Water - Hope
In the Nyamata area of Rwanda, hope and improved living conditions are coming to this community in the form of clean water. This is an area that suffered greatly during the ’94 genocide against the Tutsis and has been struggling ever since to rebuild itself.
With just one well, the Project provides clean/fresh, drinking water to over 135+ people, 3,500 chickens and some of the villager’s crops. The water flows naturally out of a 2″ line. There seems to be enough fresh water to provide for even more people or chickens if necessary.
Eggs - School
The Comfort Primary School in Kigali, Rwanda is 15 miles from the chicken farm. The children in the School have very little if any disposable income in their homes. Many of the homes, some of which are foster homes, do not even have the means to provide daily food for the children.
The Project is changing the lives of these destitute children at the School through a feeding program named “Eggs for All” whereby an egg from the chicken farm in Nyamata is given daily to each of the 248 students. Because of the food and the addition in 2019 of filtered water in the bathrooms and fresh drinking water for the School, our student population has increased from 223 last year to 248 in 2020. Although there were about 265 applications, we could only take 248 students. The Rwandan Hope Project is currently in negotiations for additional food which would allow for more students. The children are eager to learn and the eggs provide them with some of the necessary protein to improve their health and enable their capacity to learn.
Through the School’s tests and the Government’s yearly tests, we can see a definite improvement in the students ability to absorb material. The children’s enthusiasm and ability to concentrate has continued to improve dramatically with each step forward.
The widows and orphans have not only become healthier due to having access to more nutritious food, but they’ve also become more self-confident, self-aware and self-supporting as a result of skills they have learned through their chicken farming business. In February of 2019, the chicken farm for the first time realized a profit. That profit, all be it a small one, allowed the Rwandan Hope Project to enter into a joint-venture Agreement with the chicken farm to purchase and operate a chicken feed mixer. Our research gives us plenty of hard data that there is a local market demand for 10 times the daily amount of chicken feed that the chicken farm uses. The local Government Leaders were so impressed with the many successes of the chicken farm operations that they gave the widows/orphans special land/allowances to put the office and the building/warehouse for the feeder in a special area of enterprise. The profits from the chicken feed mixer operations will be split 1/3rd immediately to the widows and orphans, 1/3rd will be put in a savings account for operational expenses, and the remaining 1/3rd will be used for future chicken farm operations in a area other than Nyamata for a period of 2 1/2 years. That last 1/3rd will then revert immediately to the widows and orphans.
As successful business operators, they are not only employers of local citizens; but, they are now better able to positively interact with the genocide perpetrators without fear or resentment. In combination with the Rwandan Hope Project’s efforts and those of the of the Rwandan Government’s efforts for reconciliation, the results are truly quite impressive.