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Ngororero District Celebrates Two-year Public Private Partnership Program with the Walmart Foundation

Published 11/03/2015 by Global Communities

Ngororero District Celebrates Two-year Public Private Partnership Program with the Walmart Foundation

Ngororero farmers proudly display their certificates of achievement.
On October 6, Ngororero District celebrated the close out of a two-year public private partnership program between the Walmart Foundation and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), implemented by Global Communities. Launched in 2014, the work was completed this month and provided technical agriculture skills and best practices to farmers, especially women, involved in maize, beans, fruits and dairy production and worked to improve nutritional outcomes in the targeted districts.
The celebration took place in the gardens of Muhororo Sector together with program participants, district officials, representatives from Caritas Rwanda who provided local implementation and , and Global Communities. The event featured dances, songs, drama, testimonies and speeches from the program participants showcasing Ngororero communities’ new ownership and leadership.

The event featured dances, songs, drama, testimonies and speeches from the program participants.
Ngororero’s close out celebration is one in a series of events to celebrate the work in eight districts of the Southern and Western Provinces of Rwanda in which the program was implemented.
Global Communities implemented the public-private partnership program in Ngororero District through Caritas Rwanda, whose field officers trained community volunteers, known as “Be the Change Volunteers”, who were key in the program implementation and training the beneficiary famers.
Faustin Gatera, Ejo Heza Coordinator at Caritas, explained that he is very satisfied with what the Walmart Foundation and USAID funded program achieved in such a short time. He stated that in just two years, significant milestones were reached:

Caritas field officers trained 152 “Be the Change Volunteers” who have communicated their knowledge to 6,910 Ngorerero District farmers

28 “Be the Change Volunteers” trained 70 farmers working in maize and beans value chains

21 “Be the Change Volunteers” trained 1,060 farmers in fruit and vegetable planting

103 “Be the Change Volunteers” trained 5,150 farmers in milk production handling

100 of beneficiary farmers also received a training in small business entrepreneurship, and 46 individuals created a savings and lending association in which 1,300,000 Rwandan francs (US$ 1,776) have been saved so far

214 kitchen gardens were created, and 116 cow sheds were renovated.

Claudine Umuhoza talks about how the program has helped them improve their nutritional intake.
“Before the program started, farmers harvested on average 20 kilograms of beans and maize per season; now with the new knowledge they harvest 150 kilograms per season. The same for the milk production in the dairy value chain; prior to the program, farmers milked 1 liter per day from a cow, now with better knowledge of animal health, a proper feeding, clean sheds and a better disease control, the same cow gives on average 5-7 liters of milk a day,” Faustin Gatera, Ejo Heza Coordinator at Caritas, added.
“I appreciated most the creation of our kitchen gardens next to our homes! We grow spinach, peppers and cabbages which are only designated for own consumption and not to sell on the markets as we did before, when we restricted ourselves from our own food to earn additional income. Before, we also grew spinach in our fields but we did not pay much attention to them as we did not know how healthy they are. Today, we know that a pregnant women should eat several small meals during a day, and it is even accepted in our community,” said Claudine Umuhoza, a spokesperson from among the program participants.
A project booklet has been left at the district with all contact detail of the “Be the Change Volunteers.” They will now work together with government officials to share their knowledge with other farmers. “Although the Walmart Foundation funded part of the program ended, the USAID-funded Ejo Heza program will take over some of the program components until it closes next year“, said Waringa Karibe, Project Coordinator of Global Communities’ Ejo Heza Program.
Emmanuel Mazimpaka, Deputy Mayor in charge of Economic Development in Ngorerero District, proudly announced that Ngororero district was ranked third among the country 30 districts for fulfilling their national performance contracts signed for the year 2014-2015 before the President of the Republic of Rwanda, addressing country priorities such as reducing poverty and increasing economic performance at the grassroots level. “We therefore recognize the Walmart Foundation and USAID funded program as it helped us in this endeavor. Now, the trained farmers of Ngorerero will assist our district in training other villagers and our aim is to be ranked first at next year’s national performance contract evaluation, which will take place in June 2016,” he said.
In recognition for their good performance in training farmers, Global Communities, jointly with the district of Ngororero, handed out certificates of achievements to every “Be the Change Volunteer”.