More than 400,000 children were orphaned by Rwanda’s genocide. Many were left looking after each other in child-headed households, sacrificing their own education in order to bring up the younger ones at home. As a consequence, thousands missed out on school and can barely read or write.
In 2009, several members of a women’s discussion group called Women Developing Rwanda (part of the Rwanda Multi Learning Centre) started an income generating business called Wanda Bakery. The women wrote a business plan, elected a management committee and learnt how to bake.
Wanda Bakery now has official cooperative status and produces high quality baked sweet and savoury goods popular with the large ex-patriot community living in Kigali. The women are making a modest profit, the first strides on the path to financial independence. While most of their food currently caters to the tastes of the ex-patriot community in Kigali, the women plan to open a small restaurant that will sell Rwandese food. They have been re-investing their profits in the bakery, with some support from Network for Africa.