This year, PICO Rwanda celebrated 10 years of successful work. Twenty-three years after the genocide, PICO is helping Rwandans fulfill its vision for economic development and women’s empowerment. Leaders are modeling a democratic approach that claims space for ordinary people to name their priorities, organize their communities, and hold government officials accountable.
Last year, the Nyange Women’s Cooperative completed construction of a trench kiln to bake roofing tiles and the storage shed that will house their clay mixer, tile press, and completed tiles. They pressed local government officials to secure ownership of the land needed to harvest clay and build the kiln. “I used to be afraid. Being part of the group gave me confidence to speak to officials,” says Dorosera. By year’s end the Nyange women were elated with the progress they had made. This year women will complete a roadside rest stop to attract people and move toward their vision of a roofing tile business to overcome crushing poverty.