WRITTEN BY & PHOTOS BY MIKE PRINS.
Tuyambaze is a young Rwandan boy with big dreams. His shirt is a little tattered and his pants are a little dirty but his smile is brighter than ever. Tuyambaze is the proud caretaker of his father's rapidly growing herd of pigs, thanks to the many Canadian supporters of the Food for the Hungry (FH) Gift Guide. And it started with one pig.
Tuyambaze lives in the community of Busekera, Rwanda. His family's home is nestled in a cluster of houses near the FH farming and seed distribution centre, just down the road from the Busekera Primary school. It's a quiet and lush collection of hilltops and shallow valleys whose families came together with FH in 2011 to combat the poverty that its residents struggle with. To farming families like Tuyambaze's, a pig is more than just a snorting pet - it's a big step forward towards sustainability.
|THE VIEW OF BUSEKERA TOWNSITE, AS SEEN FROM TUYAMBAZE'S FRONT DOOR|
Did you know that one pig can have up to two litters of piglets each year, giving birth to 6-12 babies every time? That's up to 24 piglets in one year! Imagine how quickly a small-hold farmer could build capital by raising and selling pigs.
Not only that, pigs are prolific poopers, to say the least. It's not a glamourous job, but the manure Tuyambaze cleans out of the pig pen goes straight into their family garden and small cluster of banana trees behind the house. It's made a big difference in their family's nutrition - in fact, Tuyambaze's father points out his son is nearly as tall as his dad now.
|SIX HEALTHY PIGLETS SUCKLE FROM THEIR MOTHER|
"I'm so proud to own this pig!" Tuyambaze's father exclaims, grinning. "From this one pig, I can gather manure to make organic fertilizer for our family garden so that we can eat fresh and nutritious vegetables and beans. From this one pig, I can sell many piglets to create wealth for my family. From this one pig, I can have the money to send my son to school. From this one pig, I can create an entire herd! I am very happy with this pig."
|FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: TUYAMBAZE, MOTHER, SISTER, FATHER (UREZWENEZA)|
A big thank you goes out to all the Gift Guide shoppers who purchased a pair of pigs and generously changed the lives of hundreds of boys like Tuyambaze!