Recent Travel, Work and Great Progress In Rwanda

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CottageCare CEO, Tom Schrader, left for Rwanda last week to tend to big plans working with widows and orphans in Cyabatanzi, Ntunga, Kabuga and Kigali, Rwanda.

A 3rd-world country like Rwanda does not have the industry and natural resources to create the tax revenue to provide for their people in need as do 1st-world countries like the U.S. and Canada. There is no safety net for the poor.

10 years ago, Tom and Sheri Schrader flew to Kigali, Rwanda to meet some locals (native-Rwandans, returned from exile in Uganda) who had a similar heart for helping, but lacked resources. They discussed possibilities, visited the villages of Cyabatanzi (pronounced cha-bah-TAHN-zee), Ntunga (pronounced NOON-guh), and Kabuga (pronounced KAW-boo-ga), and bought some land in Cyabatanzi and Ntunga. They purposed the land to build children’s homes to house orphans of all ages tended to by widows.

Due to the suggestion of our their new partners in Rwanda, the Schrader’s decided to add another dimension to their work in Rwanda: Aid to “vulnerable children”. Vulnerable children are children who have a home with family or extended family, neighbors or friends who have taken them in. However, these children have no funds for their education and healthcare. This coincides with The Schrader’s desire to give a hand up to break the cycle of poverty.

In these homes, the widows are caregivers who provide a home and family environment as well as care and nurture for the children in their home. The orphans’ “job” is to be a kid, go to school, engage in healthy play, and help around the home. Helping around the home in these villages can mean the hard work of carrying water for cooking, bathing and drinking. While they are now supplied with food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and education… life still isn’t necessarily a walk in the park.

Currently, the Schrader’s are excited to be working with 2 programs that have worked in many 3rd world countries to lift people out of poverty and help them become self-sufficient by teaching them about money matters and entrepreneurship on a micro, individual basis that can grow to the next levels over time.

The primary objective for bringing these programs into the children’s homes and the homes of the vulnerable children is to give them exposure to strategies for building their own savings accounts and seeing entrepreneurship up close to prepare them for being on their own when they graduate high school. The widows, too, will have personal opportunities to build their own nest egg and small business to enhance their life-style and that of the children’s home they are charged to manage and nurture.

We hope you’ll stay tuned and read about Tom’s recent travels with us over the month of July!

Thank you, CottageCare customers and employees, for making this work a possibility!