"Violence against women leads to broken families, physical disability, HIV and poverty."

— Jeanine Karigirwa

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Construct the Family


Combating domestic and sexual violence among couples and domestic workers.

Turwubake, a team comprised of 25 local women in the Nyaryngenge Sector of Rwanda, have identified sexual and physical violence against married women and domestic workers as a critical priority. They have seen how domestic and sexual violence leads to broken families, physical disability, HIV infection, ignorance, poverty, children without fathers, and women having multiple children who face malnutrition, neglect or abandonment.

In its first year, Turwubake is training 50 households, 30 domestic workers and 30 victims of domestic violence on gender equality. They are mobilizing domestic workers and supporting them to establish their own association so that they may work together to fight violence. In addition, clothesmaking training provides vulnerable domestic workers and married women with economic alternatives. They also host debates and discussions about domestic violence in community meetings and in churches, and visit abusive employers weekly to raise awareness about their workers' rights, encourage employers to allow their domestic workers to attend sewing training, and ensure the safety of their beneficiaries. Project goals include:

After 6 months of training:

  • at least 50% of the women will have knowledge about women's rights and know how to claim their rights
  • 3 out of those women will run for office
  • 50% of domestic workers will be able to sell the clothes they make and leave abusive domestic jobs
  • domestic violence will decrease by 20% among participants
  • 10 out of 15 men trained will change their minds and respect their wives

After 12 months of training:

  • the association of domestic workers will successfully conduct advocacy for domestic workers' rights
  • the association of domestic workers will have at least 50 members in the association

With the unfortunate passing of team member and vice-president Rehema this past fall, the Construct the Family venture team has been unable to reconvene their activities at the present time. They remain committed to the issue, but have taken time to mourn and focus on their own families.

Nonetheless, their activities have already had an impact on their community. As one beneficiary of the venture, a widowed mother of 2 children told us, "I now know how to claim my rights and how to help other women to claim their rights, too. This helps me be safe and independent."

Project Details

Turwubake: Construct the Family

Grant Amount: $2850
Team Size: 25 women
Social Impact: 50 families and 60 violence survivors

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