Cooperation & Growth
About the Women's Agricultural Cooperative
The women’s mushroom growing project was launched in October 2018 as our inaugural agricultural program for adults, through our community center. RI secured the land and built a structure for growing the oyster mushroom. The extra income from the mushrooms helps 22 women to provide basic needs for their families and pay school fees for their children.
The profits and the mushrooms are split equally between the women’s group and Rukundo’s School, helping to sustain school operations and provide nutritional meals for our students and the community.
In October 2019, we launched our goat project by providing a female goat to each of the 22 women enrolled in our cooperative. Goats are a reliable source of supplementary income and improved nutrition by providing manure to gardens, which is essential in this almost exclusively agricultural community. Goats are advantageous because they require low initial investment and inputs, have rapid reproduction rates, and are easy to maintain, able to thrive on readily available vegetation.
When each gifted goat bears its kids, the recipient is required to gift a total of two of those goats back to RI. The sale of the first round of goats will provide financing for the monitoring and supplies needed, making this program fully sustainable. RI will give the second round of goats to other women in the community, repeating the cycle of giving. Subsequent kids remain the property of the recipient, and the recipient will graduate to full autonomy from the program with full ownership of her goats after the goat bears seven kids: two donated for the program upkeep and five to keep.
Impacts of the Women's Co-op
Kate is a 43 year-old widow that takes care of seven children: four of her own and three kids from her sister. She received her goat in October, 2019 when Rukundo started to distribute these animals to the vulnerable women within the Kyanamira community around Rukundo’s school. Kate’s goat already produced two kids.
“Rukundo International has put a smile on my face. Being so poor, I never expected to have a domestic animal. The goat keeps my children busy! My children would go to other people’s farms to look after their cattle, not for money, but due to the desire to take care of an animal. Also, since we’ve got the goat, the manure has helped to improve our field. We have more planted vegetables now and better nutrition for my children and I.”
What We Need
“I received a goat from Rukundo International in October 2019, and it has transformed my whole family. Before receiving the goat, I faced many challenges in getting my garden fertile to plant vegetables. But after eight months of using the goat’s manure, I can finally plant and see my vegetables growing. I also sold part of the goat’s manure to local farmers who also wished to improve their gardens, as most gardens in Kyanamira are infertile. With that money, I was able to buy vegetable seedlings to plant in my homestead. After my goat produces its first kids, I hope to get more manure to expand my vegetable garden. This will also help me pay school fees for my grandchildren and meet my other family needs.”