With the support of Kyla Williams and Martin Riedler, Fellows from the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Stata Clara University, leaders from Mumeya attended seminars in Kigali and developed a business plan for their agricultural cooperative. At a Mumeya meeting, they presented their plan for community approval to purchase crops from area farmers and store them for off-season sales to increase income. The Kirehe Vice Mayor for Economic Affairs and the local sector leaders attended to demonstrate their support. They estimate that income could rise 50% for local farmers.
Kyla and Martin share this reflection, “Although we were the teachers, we learned a lot from the members of the cooperative as well. They shared personal stories of the reconstruction of their lives after the genocide and how they have rebuilt their village’s infrastructure and economy within the last few years through various community projects. With support from every community member and from PICO-Rwanda, a main road has come to their village, a modern clinic was built, a welding vocational school was started, and they now plan on creating a crop storage business. This experience in Rwanda was a lifetime dream that came true for both of us. Discovering from the inside a country that has started from the very bottom was an extremely inspiring experience. We were truly amazed by the strength, the motivation, and the energy that this cooperative brought to the classroom every day. The cooperative members were full of hope. “