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.
The New Life Family Center offers a one-year vocational training program to provide employable skills in sewing or cosmetology, alongside childcare for pre-school children, all infused with Christian discipleship. Each year this program moves 90 women and 40 of their young children toward a better life.
Feeding the Mind
The vocational training programs equips women to leave poverty through the opportunity to learn a trade in sewing or cosmetology, and marketable skills for future employment.
Feeding the Spirit
While a marketable skill is the first priority of the vocational programs, women rising out of challenging life situations need more. They and their families need encouragement to look to the future with hope. Discipleship, counseling, prayer, and weekly devotions are an ongoing part of the programs. This emphasis on faith and Christian principles results in many women giving their lives to Christ each year and experiencing a hope for the future that may once have been unimaginable.
Feeding the Body
Every woman attending the Family Center receives a regular supply of nutritionally balanced food to prepare at home, equivalent to a daily lunch. For many women, this is their only reliable source of food. Children attending the Dream Daycare also receive lunch and a daily multi-vitamin to counter malnutrition.
Graduates of Africa New Life’s vocational training program are successful. Many women go on to start their own independent businesses in Kigali, and others are employed throughout the city. 71% of 2019 Dream Beauty Academy graduates were hired into their field within a month of their graduation. In the summer of 2020, Africa New Life employed forty graduates to sew government-approved face masks benefiting sponsored students. Independent research conducted on the classes of 2005-2018 reported the average Vocational Sewing Program graduate more than triples her monthly income with her new skills. Click the video below to hear the story of a woman who started her own sewing co-op with her fellow graduates.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The New Life Family Center (NLFC) is the home for three programs operated by Africa New Life Ministries in Kigali, Rwanda:
Each of these programs supports vulnerable 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. To learn more about a specific program, please click their names above!
The New Life Family Center is one year in length beginning in January. Students graduate in early December.
A scholarship is a gift of education, discipleship, and nurturing to especially vulnerable Rwandan women and their families. Programs are 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 connect with a specific woman to pray and journey with if preferred! You’ll receive photo and letter updates from the woman throughout her time at the New Life Family Center.
The cost of one woman’s attendance is $1,800 per year. Scholarships may be provided as a one time gift of any amount, or a monthly pledge in increments of $25/month.
To provide a scholarship, please visit www.africanewlife.org/scholarship and read the stories of a few women in this year’s class. To make a one time or set up a reoccurring 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. Because of this, your donations are beneficial at any time!
Yes! Both independent and in-house research has shown the New Life Family Center to be an effective small-scale poverty-reduction program both for employment within the woman’s field of study, and household income. An independent study completed in 2018 of over 300 graduates reported women saw their income increase from $3.53 to $16.88 a month on average (USD). Interested in knowing more? Please contact Megan Westby at firstname.lastname@example.org.