Cohort 1: Month 2

As we come to the end of Month 2 with Cohort 1, we are continuing to be excited about their progress, and about what is to come. They have shown us that they are so dedicated to this program and continue to show up day after day ready to learn. 


Adeline, our Social Welfare Associate, has been facilitating sessions about relationship and trust building, and the Healing the Wounds of Trauma course. The women have shared with Adeline that they’d like to have some additional time each week to share their stories with each other - they have identified that this is an important step in building relationships with each other. While each woman has a unique story, they find solidarity and understanding in some of their shared experiences. This month in particular has been challenging due to the emotions that are present due to the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsis. We are so grateful for the support of a local counselor, Brigitte, who has also provided support to Cohort 1. She had previously worked with Cohort 0 and the feedback was so positive that we knew she’d be a great fit for the new cohort.


Passy, our Spiritual Development Associate, has seen the eagerness to learn more about faith in Cohort 1’s twice-weekly Spiritual sessions.  They especially have enjoyed learning about the life of Jesus, and were excited to see the ways their daily life was similar to His. They have reflected on Jesus being with them and are grateful for Him healing their pain and wiping away their tears. They find hope in the story of the resurrection.

Health & Hygiene

We continue to provide training around health and hygiene, including initial health checks with Jane, our Rwandan Health Development Advisor, and learning to wash while still saving water. Our childcare staff have also been supporting Cohort 1 mamas to teach their children good hand-washing - and I must say, it’s very cute to watch them line up to wash their little tiny hands before lunch!

Skill Building

Cohort 1 continue to work at a faster rate than we anticipated in learning how to make our beautiful products! Felicite, our Production Manager, is busy coming up with new projects for them to learn. We are also exploring other areas in which women may like to receive training which can lead to employment. 


I continue to feel encouraged by the initiative Cohort 1 has been taking. There are aspects of the curriculum that we have yet to introduce, however, Cohort 1 have initiated these activities themselves - such as encouraging financial saving, and the ways they have chosen to share and support each other. They have requested additional time in their schedule so that each person will get a chance to share their story with the group. They have explained that this helps them to understand each other, how to respect each other given their individual needs, and helps to build trust with one another, which is such an important part of this program. They have also created their own group rules which include : respecting one another, keeping any information shared within the group confidential, arriving on time, and keeping to the hygiene practices they have been learning.

We have a long way to go in our 3-year program, but if these last two months are anything to go by, these women are going to thrive!