Sometimes, it’s the littlest things that can have the biggest impact.An umbrella on a stormy day. A pinch of yeast in a loaf of bread. A baby’s smile in the deep of a long night. Simple words like, “I love you.”
For Donathile, it was a handful of tiny seeds that marked the beginning of her new life.
Donathile and her husband had struggled to feed their large family. With only a small plot of land and scarce income, they couldn’t always grow enough food for everyone to eat. It was hard.
But the solution didn’t come from a grand gesture of lavish generosity. It came from a simple Gift Guide gift: $30 Fruit & Veggie Seeds. This support helped Donathile take Food for the Hungry (FH) Rwanda agricultural training. They also gave her seeds, gardening tools, and the encouragement she needed to transform her family’s small garden into a high-yield vegetable business.
Donathile made the most of her gift to grow more vegetables so she could sell more produce in the market. Donathile’s family also received a pig from FH Rwanda. The manure produced by their new livestock enriched the soil in their garden. Step-by-step, their vegetables began to grow strong and bright, and they saw increasingly abundant harvests.
“We have created a business because of your guidance and training,” Donathile shared. Her income steadily climbed. With this new money, she bought another piece of land to expand her vegetable production.
She joined a Savings and Loans Group and started putting money away. “Today, every family is a member of a Savings and Loans Group where we discuss conflicts between families and propose solutions. This has positively impacted the community because of mindset change since people meet at least one time per week and discuss a lot of their problems.”
Donathile also became part of a women farmers’ group called Terimbere Muhinzi. She saved enough to buy a dairy cow whose milk is strengthening the family, producing more fertilizer to improve their garden, and generating even more income.
She paid her youngest daughter’s school fees, bought her school uniform, and got everyone in the family medical insurance!
Donathile is a big promoter of “mindset change” when it comes to agriculture. She’s not stuck in doing things just because she’s always done them. Instead, she trials the new techniques she learns from FH. When she’s how successful they are, Donathile is quick to share the secrets behind her newfound success.
Her neighbours affectionately call her “Donathile the Agronomist” and even elected her to lead a group of 10 local farmers. She now teaches agriculture in her community and is helping other families out of poverty. She follows a “show don’t tell” policy when it comes to farming, giving jobs to her neighbours and working with them on their own plots of land. Donathile’s presence is constant encouragement that changing your circumstances is possible.
Today, Donathile is praising God because her family’s economy is improving. She now brings in over 50,000 RWF ($48 USD) each month! Oh, and in her “spare” time, she teaches young women tailoring skills using the sewing machines provided by FH Rwanda.
Donathile is thankful for how FH Rwanda has helped her larger community of Busekera improve their health and education through clean water access, domestic animals, vegetable seeds, school materials, health training in Cascade Groups, and the new Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre being established in a neighbouring village.