Our Trip to the Basic Utility Competition
On April 22, we were in Batavia, Ohio visiting with students and faculty that were participating in the annual Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) Competition. Students continue to improve vehicle durability and performance year over year. Our goal is to obtain a model that would be affordable and sustainable as a transportation option for farmers in Rwanda and in Africa as a whole.
We are currently working on raising funds to have a vehicle delivered to Rwanda for testing on the ground to determine if it would be able to perform on Rwandan terrain. To make a donation towards this vehicle delivery, please click the button on the right hand panel and add “BUV” in the memo line when making a donation or write a check to Tools For Hope, “BUV”. Thank you for your continued support as we work to improve transportation for underprivileged farmers in Rwanda and Africa.
We have received an offer to match all donations made towards the Basic utility vehicle for up to $5500.00. Please consider making a donation to help us get this vehicle to Rwanda by Dec 2017! Please see our other immediate needs below:
Employee Salary in Rwanda: $4000.00
Addition of Goats: $950.00
Basic Utility vehicle: $5500.00
Travel for 2 weeks in Rwanda: $8000.00
We are adding goats to stabilize incomes
As our farmers continue to improve their farming techniques, we are helping them add goats to their farming activities. Goats are resistant to diseases and, with a gestation period of only 5 months, present a great opportunity to stabilize and diversify their incomes.
Our employee Deo is currently training farmers on best practices needed to successfully raise goats. We are also researching on all the locally available resources such as veterinary services that the farmers can take advantage of as their operations grow.
Images from our Dec 2016 trip to Bugesera, Rwanda
On our trip to Bugesera, that lasted from Dec 1-8, we met with the farmers twice. Once was to review their fields and to see the irrigation system in action. We walked 5-6 miles in their fields that day, seeing their farming and celebrating the new growth they are seeing.
The next time we met with them indoors at the local primary school to discuss the current year as well as plans for the coming year. The year over year changes were dramatic. In 2016, the farmers went from not being able to feed their families in the dry season to having their first ever farming surplus thanks to the irrigation equipment and training they received.
We are also very excited to announce that we have in place the technical and financial resources to begin fully developing a viable Utility Vehicle business in Rwanda. The local university (along with Baylor University in the US) and the Rwandan Development Bank have agreed to help with the effort.