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InnovativeCommunities.Org Foundation

Friends Building Global Community



Rwanda is a country than has undergone incredible change since the mid 1990s. After suffering one of the greatest tragedies in modern history, Rwanda is now an example of good governance and economic growth, becoming an African leader in telecommunications and air transport. The benefits of this growth, however, often don't reach people in the poor rural areas. 85% of Rwandas more than 11 million citizens are engaged in agriculture and 50% live in extreme poverty. Access to food, health care and education remain major challenges.

ICO currently operates in the Nyamasheke District of western Rwanda, in a village of five or six thousand people. Most people there are subsistence farmers and a large proportion are orphans or widows.

In 2011 with ICO's support: 120 widows’ houses have been rehabilitated, 1,000 eco-stoves have been installed, all 45 of our sponsored children have advanced to the next grade, breeding pigs have arrived in 50 new student families, there are 30 new beekeepers with productive hives, and 800 valued Moringa seedlings have rooted in community nurseries.

Smoke from open fires continues to be a major health concern for people in Rwanda, both from burns and the inhaled smoke. Women will often spend hours retrieving firewood to run these ineffective fires.

Through a Rwandan student in Canada, John Jordan, an active Victoria retiree, heard a compelling story of widows and orphans struggling in rural Rwanda. He soon packed his bags to see if there were opportunities to help create sustainable and effective projects to help some of the poorest people in Africa.

In the rural township of Kibogora, John found two bright, compassionate Rwandans capable of rebuilding the houses of the poor, including:

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ICO Initiatives

September 17, 2014
ICO’s Instruments4Africa provides opportunities to underprivileged children in Mali, one of Africa's poorest countries, to get an education and reach their potential. Building on Mali’s rich artistic culture, children receive performing arts training, and are part of a performing arts troupe guided by professional dance and music teachers.