In a partners with a local charity in Rwanda we want you to support this essential program. The Abagore Farming Co-operative (‘Abagore’ means ‘women’) supports participating families by providing supplies and a willing volunteer labor force to assist with the labour intensive farming program. Many of the families the charity works with are headed by women, so the co-operative was set up to give them the opportunity to earn money to look after their families. These families have been affected by the country’s troubled history, and by the economic fall-out. The women supported by this co-operative grow maize, carrots, and cabbages to sell in markets in the area. Through these actions they will not only earn an income that will benefit their families, but will also be contributing to food security in the community, ensuring that people can improve their nutrition and health. The women in the Abagore Farming Co-operative learn the value of trading skills and go on to then train more women in the community. Our partner supports the women in accessing markets in the area and helps them to become small business leaders, which in turn creates more jobs for the community.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide volunteer labor to support women growing crops to support their families
- Teach economic and trading skills to women in the community – and thus empowering them
- Contribute to food security in this impoverished nation
- Expose volunteers and children to different people and cultures
This is a farming program with an extremely important community development element to it, and one that is essential to the community in which it operates and the families it helps to support. Volunteers on this program can expect to help in every aspect of this agricultural co-operative, from assisting with tending the land, harvesting crops, selling crops at local markets, and in assisting with educating the women involved in the project on sustainable agricultural techniques. Volunteers may also be called upon to teach English to the participants in order to improve their future livelihoods. This program is ideal for volunteers who like physical work, that are enthusiastic and don’t mind getting their hands dirty, that like working in teams, and people who love to interact closely with others. Participants must be physically fit and enjoying being outdoors, with work hours varied and dependent on the task at hand.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Working on the land – tending to and harvesting crops
- Selling crops at local markets
- Educating participants on sustainable farming practices
- Teaching English language skills
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A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
7:00am Breakfast at the volunteer guesthouse
7:30am Walk or taxi bus to your project site
7:45am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor
8:00am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.
4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
4:15pm Debrief with project supervisor
4:30pm Walk or taxi bus back to the accommodation
Evenings Volunteers are free to explore the local area or relax with the other volunteers
Upon arrival into Kigali International Airport volunteers will be collected by a representative of the local project team and transported to their guesthouse accommodation where they will join a short welcome session. On Monday, volunteers attend the full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in Rwanda. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Kigali International Airport, Kigali, Rwanda (CODE: KGL)
Safe and comfortable accommodation will be provided during your stay in Rwanda. Volunteers have the unmissable experience of living within the community which is a great way to experience cultural immersion. Volunteers will be accommodated at the project operations base guesthouse or at a nearby independent guesthouse. It may be necessary for volunteers to share a twin room depending on how many people are participating at the same time. The shared room is split by gender. If necessary it may be possible to secure a private room (additional fees apply).
There are internet cafes close by to the guesthouse.
Breakfast and dinner will be provided at the guesthouse during your stay, and lunch can be bought cheaply at local markets, street stalls and cafes. Volunteers are welcome to buy bread and other snacks as required, and are required to buy their own drinking water. Your hosts will provide you with a selection of local Rwandan foods during your volunteer period, but you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. This might take some adjusting to but is part of life in Rwanda. If you have special eating needs, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Please keep in mind that living conditions in Rwanda are basic, which is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for people living in marginalized communities of Rwanda. While this project is best suited to those pursuing a career in the fields of anthropology, social entrepreneurship and/or economics, or those with a background in farming and agriculture, volunteers who simply wish to be involved in a more ‘varied’ project are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist and individual projects can often be tailored to suit the particular skills and interests or each participant. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Project Location: Rwamagana is about one hour east of the capital, Kigali and is a relatively big town by Rwandan standards. Many cities are accessible from Rwamagana, including Kilgali which has a number of interesting museums, Cyangugu where Obo National Park is one of the main tourist attractions, Gisenyi where you will find Gishwati Forest, and of course Gikongoro which is home to National des Volcans and Parc National Nyungwe Forest.
The Genocide Memorial in Kigali provides good insight into one of the world’s greatest tragedies. This excellent museum is laid out in three sections. The first contextualizes the Rwandan genocide, detailing the events leading up to it and the international response. The second section brings it into the wider context of genocide in other countries and the third is a heart-breaking tribute to the children that died.
Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans is home of the rare mountain gorilla. This is Rwanda’s biggest tourist attraction, and at $500+ for one hour with the gorillas it is also a substantial earner. If you can afford it it’s an excellent experience, and even possible as a day trip from Kigali. However, make sure you book your permit in advance as there are a limited number issued each day. A gorilla visit can entail a 1 to 4-hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or close to the forest.
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.