Single parent family saves enough money for a store and a house

Mama Parfait is a single mother (of Parfait, Jules, and Liza) and has been renting one small room for the past 10 years as their home. Prior to this year, Parfait was actually staying elsewhere with an aunt and attending school there so there was less of a burden on his mama...but she brought him home to be part of our program, though I'm sure that has also added difficulty for her. She has worked a variety of jobs, mostly with short-term contracts, doing things such as being a construction helper, cooking, and cleaning. Most recently, she had a job cooking for a family but that position ended at the end of August after the employer lost his job.

A few weeks ago, Mama Parfait called our staff Bosco to tell him that she had shifted her family to a new home (still in the village of Akindege) that has two rooms! She invited him to come and visit. When he did, he was pleasantly surprised to see the increased space and that she was using part of the front room as a small boutique (shop) selling some vegetables and other household items. He asked her where she got the money to do this. She replied that two years ago she had a conversation with her kids and discussed how she dreamed they could save some money to be able to one day own their own business. They bought a wooden box that has a slot in the top but no way to open except for breaking. She and the kids all agreed that they would add money to the box each day, even if it meant sacrificing eating or spending money on other needed things. The kids partnered with her in this, adding their own money if they ever received it, and also encouraging her each day to add something to the box, even a small coin. They planned to save money in the box for three years before breaking it. After being sponsored by Urugo Care Rwanda this year, they were able to save even more than before. They decided to break the box after just two years and found it contained about 240,000rwf. This enabled them to rent a larger house and they decided to start a business of having a boutique to sell a variety of things. It is going very well so far and they are hopeful to obtain many customers to keep growing their business. You can see the joy in their faces in the photos below!

 Liza and the vegetables!

Liza and the vegetables!

 Household items: spices, salt, sugar, pasta, oil, juice, water, toothpicks, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. Many important and high-demand items!

Household items: spices, salt, sugar, pasta, oil, juice, water, toothpicks, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. Many important and high-demand items!

 The happy family team (missing Parfait)!

The happy family team (missing Parfait)!

We have helped them by easing the burden of paying school fees but this family has also done the incredible work of thinking of this plan and being unified and committed to carrying it out...without our help! This is beautiful and exactly what we hope for in walking alongside our families in Rwanda.

Thanks for your sacrifices that encouraged this family as they were making their own sacrifices as we partner with them to meet their full potential!

Hannah Ingram
Program Director