Photo Essay: Building Brighter Economic Futures for Women in Rwanda
In the Center’s open air classrooms, a previous graduate who works as a housekeeper trains women in the hospitality sector.
A new program being run out of the Center is dairy production. Participating women are given the chance to experiment with producing different types of yogurt and cheese to eventually bring to market.
Down the road from the Center is a women’s coffee cooperative, where women who have graduated from basic farm training run a coffee-growing business in partnership with the Rwandan Coffee Institute. The Institute is a nonprofit affiliate of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ partner Sustainable Harvest.
The women pick the cherries from the coffee trees and prepare them for international export.
In Rwanda, coffee production is one of the fastest growing sectors and has fueled the country’s economic development. And with major international buyers interested in Rwanda’s specialty coffee production, Bloomberg Philanthropies has helped ensure that more women are not only a vital part of this growth – but emerge as strong participants in the international coffee market.
They also run a coffee bean washing station where the women weigh, wash, depulp, dry and do quality control on the coffee. On the day of our most recent visit, the women were processing over nine tons of coffee.
These are only a few of the vocational tracks available to women in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ programs in Rwanda. Working with government and partners like Women for Women and Sustainable Harvest, Bloomberg Philanthropies has worked to train over 67,000 women in Rwanda and more than 140,000 women total in Sub-Saharan Africa in income-generating activities that benefit them and their families.