Donatien Habarimana is a resident of Nyagatare District, Mukama Sector. He lives with his wife and four children. His daily activity is farming. He says before joining CODPCUM, a cooperative that grows maize, soya and beans he was living in poverty. He says his life was difficult, and he lived in a small muddy brick house. He lacked skills in farming; his crop production was very low. He was too poor to the extent that his family was supported by the government program known as ‘Ubudehe’ program which caters for impoverished families. He did not know how he could earn money.
In 2010, when ADRA Rwanda introduced Action for Social Change program (ASC) funded by DANIDA through ADRA Denmark, sensitizing community members to work together in cooperatives, Habarimana was interested and joined CODPCUM, an existing Community Based Group (CBG). As he attended various training, organized by ASC on behalf of his group, he was enlightened in cooperative management, maize growing, organic manure making and financial management. He applied the acquired knowledge as he shared the skills with his colleagues, as well as other willing community members. As his maize, soya and vegetable production increased, he was able to rehabilitate and extend his house. He also managed to buy a small plot of land to extend his farming activities.
In addition to one cow he had received from Ubudehe program when he was still under the government support, he has bought a second cow, chickens and sheep. Now he is able to pay medical insurance for his family and school fees for his four children.
Habarimana has understood very well what capacity building means. When he heard about an upcoming workshop on how to produce and use biogas from animal waste including cow dung, in Nyagatare town, he decided to apply for it as he already had three cows. His family is no longer using firewood for cooking, he is instead using biogas, and he decided not to keep this to his family alone. Along with his colleague whom they attended the workshop together, they managed to help at least six families to produce biogas and establish biogas system.
Habarimana plans to continue improving farming techniques as well as livestock to boost his income. If he succeeds, he plans to also install water system in his house.