A self-help group in Rwanda has helped people with disabilities overcome rejection, isolation and poverty.
Written by Agnes McGrane | 06 Aug 2021
The self-help group members meet regularly to support each other and pursue common goals. Photo credit: Tearfund partner
Since joining together, the group members have a new sense of worth and purpose. They have formed new friendships, learned new skills, and are now able to contribute financially to support their families.
Each group member now owns a goat – which provides them with milk – and many have started new small businesses making jewellery, handbags or knitted items.
‘This category of people is normally left out and the society does not consider them,’ says Leonille. ‘I encouraged others to come together to value our talents, escape from loneliness, and improve our living conditions. I used to tell them that disability doesn’t mean inactivity.’
The name that the group chose for themselves translates to ‘let’s lift each other up as disabled people’. It’s a name they live up to: they have helped each other to overcome their challenges and found new hope for the future.
Tearfund has partnered with local churches and other organisations around the world to set up hundreds of self-help groups like Leonille’s. As a result, thousands of people are being empowered to lift themselves out of poverty, and marginalised people are finally finding a place where they are welcomed and accepted.
Please join us in praying for self-help groups, especially as they deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thank you for Leonille and all the members of her self-help group in Rwanda. We pray that they and their businesses will continue to thrive, despite the current challenges of the pandemic. We lift up people with disabilities, especially in places where they are facing discrimination and rejection. We ask that you will connect them to self-help groups, and to other people and places of support and encouragement.
In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Written by Agnes McGrane
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