When Kantarama Drocella heard the news, she shrieked. Money, enough for 14 new goats, was coming her way, thanks, mostly to one of The Nyanya Project’s most faithful supporters, Peg Morgan, of North Carolina.
Generation Rwanda coordinates our efforts in Rwanda. My former intern from there, Simon Mvunabandi, originally found our 100 grandmothers in the Jabana Hills high outside of Kigali in 2011. Jackson Vugayabagabo, is now coordinating with us and the grandmothers through Generation Rwanda, which originally educated genocide orphans and now includes other low-income students in a vigorous scholarship program. The grandmothers still have some goats from previous donations, but this news absolutely thrilled them. Drocella heads their cooperative which now counts almost 90 grandmothers.
The goats, we found, were the easiest and most productive way to enhance the lives of the grandmothers and their AIDS-affected grandchildren and children.
The milk adds nutrition to their diets. Milk can also be sold for extra income for clothing and school supplies and fees. The grandmothers also slaughter the goats at times, and share the bounty with all of the women in our TNP Cooperative, who continue to meet once a month to bolster one another and decide on good practices for their families.
On my last visit to Rwanda, one of our grandmothers said, “Thanks to the Nyanya Project, now when I walk my grandchildren to school, I know that in the future my name will be raised.”
Our program is very simple and it works organically because the grandmothers decide on what is the best way for us to serve them.
Happy Valentine’s Day, you beautiful women across the ocean. We love you. Your names will not be forgotten.