Through the USAID/Higa Ubeho program ("be determined and live"), Global Communities is working to reduce the risk and impact of HIV/AIDS and other health problems of the most vulnerable populations in Rwanda, especially people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC), and their families. The aim of the program is to build the capacity of local institutions to provide services to vulnerable populations by promoting health-seeking behavior, access to key services such as education and psychosocial support, building family-level assets, and improving food security.
Global Communities is also implementing the Ejo Heza program (“brighter future”) which aims to improve the livelihoods and food consumption of 75,000 of Rwanda’s very poor, particularly women. Ejo Heza helps by building the capacity of low-income households to access financial services and necessary to grow their enterprises while assisting financial service providers to develop and deliver effective products to the rural market. The program also supports financial literacy, integrates nutrition messaging and promotes kitchen gardening and improved food handling to support more nutritious diets.
Global Communities is also helping to expand economic opportunities for vulnerable populations by promoting cooperative development. Global Communities is helping HIV-affected individuals develop new productive enterprises and services through cooperative activities. By encouraging beneficiaries to form for-profit cooperatives, they can pursue employment-generating activities and ensure they become financially sustainable. Global Communities teaches these newly formed cooperative enterprises how to pool their resources, improve their production skills, and better market their products.
Through the Enabling Market Integration through Rural Group Empowerment (EMIRGE) program, Global Communities is working with fledgling cooperatives comprised largely of poor farmers in remote rural areas. Global Communities conducted a value chain assessment of the fruit and vegetable sectors, finding that improved access to inputs and services would most dramatically impact livelihoods. EMIRGE is leveraging the cooperative network to introduce and disseminate improved cultivation techniques, while providing the management assistance to strengthen cooperatives business prospects.
Read more about Global Communities' work promoting the development of cooperatives.