"Women who can read and write improve their family's lives."

— Innocent Baguma, Project Leader

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Let Us Build Ourselves

Literacy Training for Vulnerable Women

Illiteracy amongst women prohibits many individuals in Innocent Baguma's community from understanding and claiming their rights, voting, opening bank accounts and becoming active and vocal members of society. Illiterate women are undervalued by their society. They suffer from a lack of privacy, and must ask others to read documents for them, often leading to deceit and manipulation. Further they have trouble traveling without the ability to read signs, cannot vote on their own, and have difficulty managing their own financial affairs.

This male-led team is working to reduce illiteracy amongst women by teaching reading, writing and accounting skills and by holding trainings about women's rights. Their goals for each class of women are that after 12 months:

  • 30 women no longer have problems with reading and writing
  • 15 more girls are sent to school from the families of the beneficiaries because the families value girls' education
  • 50% of the women begin to attend local meetings
  • 60% of the women are able to read and understand the laws on civil marriage
  • 70% can read the newspaper
  • 50% of the women open a bank account
  • 10 of the women run for office in local elections after graduation

Let Us Build Ourselves has been successfully operating since 2009. So far, 84 women from the Rwezamenyo Sector have successfully graduated from the program, and a new class is currently enrolled. Using Global Grassroots' training skills in partnership development and fundraising, the team was able to collaborate with several other NGO partners to help participants open bank accounts, and secure health insurance for many of their graduates. Let Us Build Ourselves is also using workshops from Global Grassroots to teach their participants bookkeeping skills, and the team plans to help the women start small income generating projects using the money they have saved after graduation. The team has also been able to tutor local street children in literacy.

Creative Fundraising is part of the training that participants in The Academy for Conscious Change receive. This is intended to not only help ensure the ongoing sustainability of the social venture in question, but also to engage the local community in supporting the project. Let Us Build Ourselves succeeds wildly in this regard.

In addition to responding to community demand by teaching English classes to subsidize the cost of their literacy program, Let Us Build Ourselves also began training street children in traditional Rwandan dance.

The dance troupe, which now also includes some of the children of graduates performs to enthusiastic crowds four times a year. The Rwandan Minister of Youth solicited the dance troupe to help in educating other youth about the spread of HIV/AIDS, and they have composed their own songs to spread this message. Their efforts have been successful, and they recently received a prestigious award for bringing positive social change to their district. At the celebration for this award, 118 community members elected to get a free HIV test.

Let Us Build Ourselves is thus using the dance troupe to serve the dual purpose of both funding their program as well as expanding into new areas of social justice.

Project Details

Let Us Build Ourselves

Grant Amount: $2800
Team Size: 35 Members
Social Impact: 84 Women & Their Families

Living Stories

Let Us Build Ourselves

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Let Us Build Ourselves
by Soffin Films

Let Us Build Ourselves is working closely with 50 women from the Rwezamenyo Sector in order to offer a truly comprehensive educational experience during their first year of operations.

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Let Us Build Ourselves is working closely with women from the Rwezamenyo Sector in order to offer a truly comprehensive educational experience.

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