June 2016 SV Foundation Rwanda Update
Comfort My People
Randy Long (SageView Advisory Founder and Managing Principal) and a team of SageView Foundation colleagues spent nine days in Kigali, Rwanda with Comfort My People in June, 2016. The team once again met closely with our local Comfort My People staff. The CMP team on the ground consists of Pastor Willy, William, Theophile, and Wally. With this team we met multiple times with the poor rural community of Ntarama and heard many testimonies glorifying God for the work that Comfort My People and the SageView Foundation is doing. Everyone we met expressed immense gratification for all they have received! We visited some of the new roof-builds and were able to witness the life change that occurred as a result of the SageView Foundation’s efforts.
The primary objective of our trip to Rwanda was to evaluate and bolster our efforts to create a sustainable organic farm in the district of Bugasera, just outside the city of Kigali. The SageView Foundation team was amazed at the progress that had been made on the farm and was excited to begin the networking process as we attempt to grow the Sunripe Farms brand. Commercial agriculture is still a relatively small institution in the little country of Rwanda. The majority of produce is imported from countries like Kenya and Tanzania. The goal of Sunripe Farms is to provide locally sourced fruits and vegetables that can be produced on a commercial level for the country of Rwanda. Thus, the SageView Foundation and the Sunripe Farms team on the ground made efforts to network with local hotels and organizations to not only grow awareness for the brand but also to create buying relationships. Additionally, we spent time developing plans to scale the farm and increase both quality and production.
The farm is currently employing over 25 locals and we hope to continue growing the positive impact the farm is having on the community.
Women For Women International
In order to maximize the impact of Sunripe Farms, our team met with Women For Women International about potentially forming a partnership. Women For Women International was founded in 1997. Their work in Rwanda is focused on supporting the poorest of the poor who have been affected by the genocide. The women in their program go through a 12-month skills and empowerment training that builds their character and prepares them for a vocation. Agribusiness is one of their biggest vocational sectors. With that in mind, Sunripe has developed a plan to integrate an improved agribusiness-training site on the farm. This site will be used to train and equip farmers with up to date and effective agricultural techniques to help them succeed in their careers.
With Pastor Willy, we also visited Teen Challenge, a rehabilitation center for young men recovering from addiction. While there, the SageView Team worshipped with the young men of Teen challenge and heard testimonies of life change. Many prayers were given up to God for both the SageView Foundation, our team individually, and the Teen Challenge men.
The SageView Foundation team also had the privilege of meeting with the CEO and Founder of Hope International, Peter Greer. Our meeting with Peter was focused on the possibility of integrating Hope’s curriculum in conjunction with a savings group in the community of Ntarama, amongst the women that Comfort My People serves, and where Sunripe Farms is located.
We are so encouraged by the progress of the team on the ground and hope it is encouraging to you to hear how they are embracing the opportunities that have been given to them!