45% of Rwandans live below the poverty line, subsisting on less than $1.90 per day. Women make up the majority of this population, stuck in a poverty cycle brought on by challenging life situations and barriers to education. Many are HIV-positive, single parenting, widowed, or surviving abuse, and all are striving to better themselves and their families’ lives without access to the tools and skills that would help them do so.
Africa New Life believes that for a community and its children to thrive, its women must have opportunities to develop their skills, pursue employment and home stability, and break out of poverty for themselves and their families. We aim to offer women in Rwanda such opportunities through a couple of women’s vocational and development programs. The Kigali vocational programs offer one-year trainings in vocational sewing or cosmetology skills, alongside childcare for students’ pre-school children, all infused with Christian discipleship. Each year these programs move 90 women and 40 of their young children toward a better life.
New in 2022, our community-based Life Skills Cohorts offer one year intensive trainings in critical skills for healthy living: entrepreneurship, financial stewardship and savings, nutrition and sanitation, parenting and childcare. Additionally, they offer participants discipleship, evangelism, and counseling. In 2022, cohorts of 40 women each will learn and develop skills together in Rubavu and Karangazi, with cohorts in other communities in future years.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Africa New Life offers three opportunities for disadvantaged women to learn essential and employable skills:
The Vocational Sewing Program and Dream Beauty Academy support women in the Kigali area by equipping them with marketable skills, regular lunch, business education, and weekly Bible studies. Daycare is offered at no cost for children 18 months and above during classes to make it possible for the women to attend.
New in 2022, our Life Skills cohorts serving women in our rural communities offer education in six critical health areas, as well as targeted training customized to the community’s needs.
The Vocational Sewing Program and Dream Beauty Academy are one year in length beginning in January. Students graduate in early December.
Life Skills cohorts begin when funding is available, and are one year in length.
There are two ways to come alongside women in Rwanda through Africa New Life:
- Provide a scholarship for a woman in the Vocational Sewing Program.
- Make a one-time donation towards the launch of a new Life Skills cohort. If you would like to help launch the next cohort, please contact Megan Westby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A scholarship is a gift of education, discipleship, and nurturing to especially vulnerable Rwandan women and their families. The Vocational Sewing Program is offered at a nominal fee to enrolled women, which is allocated to a crisis response fund for the women and their families. External partnerships are necessary to offer classes. Your monthly or one time gift is a donation to help cover the costs of materials, teacher’s salary, lunch meal, daycare, and more.
You can provide a scholarship for a woman here! You’ll receive photo and letter updates from the woman throughout her time in the Vocational Sewing Program.
The cost of one woman’s attendance is $150 a month. Scholarships may be provided as monthly gifts of $25 (partial), $75 (half), or $150 (full).
To provide a scholarship, please visit www.africanewlife.org/scholarship and read the stories of a few women in this year’s class. To set up a monthly donation, click the name of the woman you’d like to journey with this year and follow the prompts.
Classes begin and end at fixed times of the year, and women do not have to wait for full support to begin studying. We rely on new funding throughout the year to meet the ongoing need. Because of this, your donations are beneficial at any time!
Yes! Both independent and in-house research has shown our programs to be an effective small-scale poverty-reduction tool both for employment within the woman’s field of study, and household income. An independent study completed in 2018 of over 300 sewing program graduates reported an average income increase from $3.53 to $16.88 a month (USD). Interested in knowing more? Please contact Megan Westby at email@example.com.