Join us in providing training and other support to subsistence farmers in Rwanda.
Our goal is for the farmers to become self-sufficient, independent businesses.
The Twisungane Cooperative members in 2017
Twisungane means 'the Hard Workers'
They are smallholder farmers living in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, Bugesera district, in the Ntarama sector.
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How Tools for Hope Manages Your Donations
Over 95 percent of your support goes directly to helping the farmers achieve a sustainable, dignified lifestyle. Tools for Hope has only one paid employee (Diane, who mentors the farmer groups) and no ‘brick and mortar’ facilities. All Board Directors and Officers are volunteers—most non-productive overhead results from fees such as those charged by PayPal and Western Union to process funds.
Additionally, TFH ‘recycles’ your funds. When TFH lends funds for various approved projects, the loans are interest-free and have ‘no recourse.’ As the farmers repay their loans, those payments go into local Rwandan bank accounts jointly controlled by our employee and each group's elected leader. Those funds are then available for loans for additional projects.
Our strategy is to have a continuing presence in the subsistence farming communities we serve. Our local employee is a degreed national. She collaborates with the farmers to find and categorize problems. We develop and implement socially, culturally, technically, and economically acceptable solutions, aligning with local governmental policies and goals.
A November 2022 video showing the Twisungane small-holder farmer group in Rwanda: https://youtu.be/PYJAsRq-Qzc
What is Tools For Hope?
Tools For Hope is a nonprofit founded by Joram Kimenyi and Richard Trevillian, aimed at facilitating growth and development for subsistence farmers in East and Central Africa. Tools may be manual farming tools such as farming hoes, hammers, screwdrivers etc. Tools could also be services like education and exposure to Micro-Finance opportunities.
Why Tools For Hope?
Tools for Hope, Inc. (TFH), founded in 2015, is a TN corporation. Its objective is to help East Central African (e.g. Rwandan) subsistence farmers rise from poverty and for that rise from poverty to be permanent and self-sustaining. The TFH process involves training small groups of farmers (~20) in effective, basic agricultural and business techniques, aligning TFH goals with those of national and local governments, bringing basic mechanization to the farms, and developing farmer group credit-worthiness. That process has proven itself to work well in Rwanda.
Once the farmers understand and begin seeing the benefits of utilizing the modern farming techniques that they have learned from the agri-business mentoring provided by TFH their basic standard of living rises dramatically. Next, TFH collaborates with the local governments to assist the farmer co-op in buying mechanized farm equipment such as irrigation systems. From there, the farmers are able to purchase farm livestock and other needs. During the training process, expected to last two years, the farmers learn and practice basic business activities such as banking, decision-making, building creditworthiness, bartering, etc.
A cornerstone value of TFH is that charity is corrosive to the basic social fabric. Therefore, TFH loans funds to the farmers for investments in livestock and machinery normally at a zero interest rate. That approach has proven to be very successful. Additionally, TFH believes that all solutions must be fully acceptable and understood by the farmers before implementation begins. TFH collaborates with local and national governments as well as universities, and other NGOs. TFH seeks and values diverse ideas from a wide range of experts on issues facing the subsistence farmers.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”