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RWANDA: Water for Banda
Katote Health Hut Revitalization
750 million people lack access to clean water, impacting sanitation, hygiene, health, and food production. Globally, women and children spend 140 million hours each day collecting water, time that could be spent in school, caring for their families, or earning income through work.

Banda is a remote community made up of five villages in Southwest Rwanda. Due to extreme isolation, there is very little economic activity in Banda outside of smallholder agriculture. Banda has impressive natural and environmental beauty, but two of its villages lack access to clean, potable water, posing challenges to social and economic progress. With the support of World Connect and a local partner organization, Kageno Rwanda, a clean water source was tapped and six communal taps were constructed and strategically placed throughout Gasumo and Bururi villages to improve water access for nearly 200 families.
Katote Health Hut Revitalization
Sebera Modest, elected as the leader of the local water committee for this project, has been writing letters to government officials about the water situation in Banda and requesting support for more than 20 years.

BELIZE: Women and Girl Empowerment
Katote Health Hut Revitalization
World Connect staff, Board members, and donors recently returned from a site visit to Belize where they first visited La Sarteneja Cooperative, a World Connect supported, women-led handicraft and sewing business. The Cooperative was started to provide women with opportunities to generate an income and gain economic independence. In addition to earning a profit from selling their crafts in local fairs, the Cooperative was also commissioned by the Mahogany Bay Village resort to sew pillows, an important step in the growth and professionalization of their business.

During the visit, Las Sartenejeñas Cooperative was presented World Connect’s Charlotte Daniel Champions of Change Award for their entrepreneurial spirit and impact on their community. Representatives from Beltraide, the economic development arm of the Belize government, attended the visit to demonstrate their support for this new business.
“I think the program was a good opportunity that changed my life because I progressed in many ways, like helping my family and growing as a woman. I liked this project because we shared it as a group and we learned new things from each other.” – Jamiliet, Project Participant
Katote Health Hut Revitalization
In extremely rural villages like San Benito Poite and Santa Teresa, traditional notions of appropriate gender roles persist. Mayan girls are often pulled from school at age 14, regardless of whether they have graduated primary school, in order to prepare them for a life of marriage and motherhood. Education is expensive and many families are only able to send one child to school, and often choose sons. To promote education and to #LetGirlsLearn, female students from the two villages are learning animal husbandry techniques so they can raise pigs to generate income for their school fees and education expenses.

"This project will help me finance my high school tuition and school supplies. It will help me to educate myself and become the person I want to be." - Olga Salam, age 11

In other positive news…

World Connect was recently added to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) registry of Private Voluntary Organizations, allowing World Connect to join a large network of private organizations in public/private partnership with the U.S. Government.

Next up

World Connect heads to Morocco in April to make site visits to five projects. Stay tuned for updates and photos from the field!

Donate
If you have any questions about making a donation, please contact
Pamela Nathenson, Executive Director, at pnathenson@worldconnect-us.org or (347) 563-7452.
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