The BUV in Rwanda
TFH began working with the Twisungane group in 2015. At that time the group was informal i.e., not a government registered cooperative made up of 15 subsistence farmers. The group members did not have food security or many other basic essentials. Today the Twisungane group is a registered cooperative and has 78 members.
Several basic essentials such as food security have been successfully addressed through their partnership with TFH. In the coming year we expect the group may expand to include up to 100 members from the local community. We, and the farmers, believe we need to continue providing and possibly expanding the support our employee, Frank, currently provides to the Twisungane group.
Most recently, TFH delivered a basic utility vehicle (BUV) to the cooperative. The BUV is at its core a research and development (R&D) project aimed at providing Rwandan small-scale farmers’ cooperatives a (economically and technically) viable BUV for Rwandan terrain and conditions. TFH and the Twisungane group plan to utilize the BUV for transport of basic farming material and produce while keeping very careful notes on performance issues (e.g., maintenance, operations, fuel efficiency, repairs, etc.). After some experience with this first BUV, modifications likely will be necessary for the next generation of BUV. We expect to encounter some R&D costs over the up-coming year.
In the coming year TFH and the farmers want to develop projects such as:
- Locally made sandals (shoes are not always available, and ringworm is a problem).
- Locally made ladies, sanitary napkins. These napkins will help the community women participate better in school, family activities, work, etc.
- The farmers would like to raise livestock (e.g., goats, chickens) for money and to supplement their largely vegetarian diets.
TFH believes that training and assisting the farmers to become independent entrepreneurs generating diverse sources of income will enhance their overall economic development. Your support is needed to help with these projects.
Managing these issues from the USA is difficult. Joram and Richard travel once each year to Rwanda to mentor our TFH employee, meet with the farmers, survey their farms, meet with government, financial, academic, and equipment supply representatives. We are able to minimize TFH travel costs however; you donations are still needed to help us make the annual trips.
Join us on the journey by making a donation today!