Mother of five and resident of Nyamagabe, Rwanda, Mukamuhirwa is a business owner using small business loans from a HOPE International savings group called Be Compassionate to provide for her family, support her church, and protect and encourage the children of her community.
When she joined Be Compassionate in 2011, Mukamuhirwa, her husband and her children lived in a small, gradually collapsing house in a ravine that had become prone to landslides. As part of the local church, she and 11 other women came together to make and sell crafts as a way to earn money for their savings group. The women are able to draw on the pooled funds by taking out loans for entrepreneurial ventures, personal needs and to tithe to the church. Mukamuhirwa, who has more than doubled her weekly savings since 2011 from $0.80 to over $2, took out a $72 loan and expanded her small porridge making business to supplement her husband’s inconsistent income. Thanks to Be Compassionate and her business, Mukamuhirwa has saved enough money to build a new, larger home for her family in a safe location.
Mukamuhirwa’s success story extends even beyond herself. Be Compassionate worked with local children to organize a children’s savings group called Abatoni (“God’s Favored Ones”), of which her 17-year-old son is the president. Over 70 local children have joined Abatoni, and the group buys and breeds rabbits, providing at least one member a week with a new rabbit. After hearing his wife’s testimony and seeing the work of Be Compassionate in the community and with the church, Mukamuhirwa’s husband also became a Christian and supports her work.
Mukamuhirwa’s story is not unique, and hundreds of thousands of other entrepreneurs are overcoming hardships and poverty to create better lives for themselves and contribute to their communities with the support of HOPE International. To learn more about this organization, click here.
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