"Empowering women to legalize their marriages will promote equality."

— Marie Grace Mukakigeli

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Kind People

Providing Training to Promote Legal Marriage and Protect Women's Property Rights

Women's lack of access to land and property rights is an underlying cause of domestic physical and economic violence in the Ruhango District of Rwanda's Southern Province. This becomes an issue if a woman is widowed, and her husbands family wants to seize the land, but also in the day-to-day decision making about what crops to grow, who to sell them to, and how to use the money. According to team leaders, most community members are uneducated about the legal rights of women and the importance of legal marriage to protect a woman's rights to decision making and property inheritance.

To protect women's property rights and promote legal marriages, this venture will train 400-500 men and women about the laws protecting the family and the mutual benefits of legal marriage. As a follow-up to these trainings, advocacy clubs will be created within each umudugudu (neighborhood) to act as a resource for women who may still fall victim to continued domestic. Project goals include:

  • To reduce the number of women being sent away by their husbands
  • To reduce physical violence against women
  • To reduce the number of and disputes within families
  • To help men and women see one another as equals
  • To ensure couples choose legal marriage
  • To promote development within families

Despite working 8-5 as teachers and raising their own families, the women of Kind People have trained 378 community members from each of the 9 cellules within their sector about the laws surrounding legal marriage and property rights. They have worked with The National Women's Counsel, The National Youth Counsel and have created strategic partnerships with three executive leaders from each town.

They have also created 22 anti-violence advocacy clubs in more remote villages. These clubs will continue raising awareness about women's property rights and the benefits of legal marriage as well as help ensure that people have access to the courts and legal counsel. The anti-violence clubs have found 90 couples living with domestic violence and are helping them repair broken relationships. One couple has already benefited so much they are now role models for the community of changing behaviors. By building an extensive presence throughout the community, Kind People are becoming the 'go-to' network for victims of domestic violence.

As part of their creative resourcing strategy, Kind People has purchased a motorcycle with a grant from Global Grassroots. The motorcycle not only allows team members to visit remote communities where public transportation is lacking, but they are also able to use it as a taxi and fundraising tool as part of their creative resourcing strategy.

Project Details

Kind People

Grant Amount: $3304
Team Size: 15
Social Impact: 405 people in year 1, targeting a total population of 12,000

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