Empowering Women: Nourishing a healthier future and overcoming malnutrition #InternationalWomen’sDay2024

This International Women’s Day, we share how initiatives such as the Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project have empowered women in sectors like agriculture, poultry farming and entrepreneurship, providing financial support and invaluable knowledge.

In Rubavu’s Byahi community, 24 determined women have joined forces to combat the malnutrition affecting their children. Supported by a 1.2 million Rwandan francs grant from NICE, they cultivated cabbages and green beans, giving each other collective and mutual support in their hard work. Their children are now nourished and thriving, thanks to their dedication.

Women supported by NICE Project while prepare nutritious food during a cooking demonstration in Rusizi District

Similarly, in Nyakiriba sector, 16 women saved 200 Rwandan francs each to address malnutrition in their families, securing land cultivating crops with NICE’s help. Their perseverance in harvesting crops freed their children from stunted growth and has made them symbols of hope within their community.

“We used to struggle with our children’s poor health,” … “but now thanks to the NICE project, we have gained (food) insights that have empowered us to make better choices for our families’ well-being.”

Denyse UWIMANA, member of Tuzamurane Nyakiriba women’s group

Consolée Mfitumukiza, president of the Tuzamurane Nyakiriba women’s group, shares the transformation journey catalyzed by NICE. Initially faced with the problem of child malnutrition, Consolée and her group seized the opportunity offered by the NICE grant to take up farming. They have seen an improved harvest of potatoes and cabbage, and have also invested in sheep for economic stability and savings.

The impact of NICE goes far beyond improving agriculture, sharing invaluable life skills with the community. Through training sessions and tailored workshops, Consolée and her peers have learned how to prepare healthy and balanced meals for their families, also receiving advice on household management and conflict resolution for family well-being. As a result, the community bond is stronger as collaborative efforts flourish between women.

“We are grateful to the NICE project for bringing us out of our isolation, because before we didn’t communicate with others, but NICE has encouraged us to meet each other and other parents.”

Consolée MFITUMUKIZA, president of the Tuzamurane Nyakiriba women’s group

Denyse Uwimana echow Consolée’s sentiments, emphasizing NICE’s impact on nutritional education and agricultural methods. The women now appreciate the importance of vegetables and nutrition in combating disease, for the good of their families.

In Rusizi district, Esperance Nirere’s poultry farming group, supported by NICE, has evolved into a cooperative. With enhanced poultry breeds and continuous project assistance, they have overcome economic challenges and addressed malnutrition in their community.

Through collective action, determination, and the support of initiatives like NICE, these women emerged as leaders, nurturing healthier, happier futures for themselves and future generations.