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“A thief can steal your property such as furniture, shoes…but cannot take the information you have, your knowledge and skills,” said Dr Ngaite Nkomo Mgeni, the ADRA Rwanda Country Director during the closing ceremony of Action for Social Change (ASC) program in Nyagatare District, on 22nd June, 2016.

Since the last six years, the members of cooperatives and Community Based Groups (CBGs) in Nyagatare District, have learnt skills on how to be more productive in their activities. They also learnt how to work with various stakeholders to advocate for various services that can enhance their development at household and cooperative or CBG level, through ASC program.

“ADRA Rwanda is happy to close ASC program to leave enough space for these members to demonstrate what they are capable of doing.  As those of you who are parents know so well, you can never expect to see the full potential of your children until when they are living on their own,” Dr Ngaite said.

The group members are satisfied that they have acquired a lot from ADRA Rwanda which enabled them to do many things on their own. “We now know how to manage our businesses such as beekeeping, pineapple growing, maize growing…, we run village saving and lending associations in a more improved way, we make organic manure and many more,” said Philbert Uwizeye, a CBG member in Karama sector.

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Domitille Musabyemariya, the District Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs addressing CBG members

Domitille Musabyemariya, the District Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs who attended the event commended ADRA Rwanda for supporting the community members and urged the CBG members to maintain ‘good fruits’ that ADRA Rwanda has sown in them and their community.
“Keep the knowledge you have acquired, improved it so that when ADRA happens to visit again in the future can see the multiplied ‘seeds’ (knowledge) you received, ” Musabyemariya told the CBG members adding that local leaders and the district will continue to support the groups and other community members as far as development is concerned.

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94 CBGs were represented during the closing ceremony

The Action for Social Change program is funded by DANIDA through ADRA Denmark. During six years long partnership the program worked in Karama, Mukama, Gatunda, Rukomo and Tabagwe sectors with a total of 94 CBGs. Through these 94 groups ASC worked with more than 3,500 members, among which over 2,000 were women.
The program has been operating in five districts; its activities will remain in four districts.