Sponsorship (€30 per month or €1 per day) is aimed at supporting an individual woman, but may have a specific aim of sending a woman to study at university (€90 per month). One or more persons may support a woman in Rwanda by means of sponsorship.
When a Rwandan woman is sponsored, it sends the important message out to her that people have an interest in her life, and also care for her. Through this personal attention, she can grow in strength and confidence. The aim of sponsorship is “empowerment”, so women may achieve economic independence and increase their self-confidence. Sponsorships help tackle problems of poverty, disease, trauma and the stigmatization of women.
Which woman is eligible for a sponsorship, is determined by Solace Ministries, in consultation with the Mukomeze Foundation. Solace Ministries, along with the woman in question, then looks into how the sponsorship can best be used for the purpose of her “empowerment”, e.g. to follow a training course or to set up a small business to bring in an income and attend to basic needs. As indicated earlier, “empowerment” means that women are strengthened in several areas, particularly physical, psychological, material, social, economical and spiritual.
The Mukomeze Foundation has appointed an “on the spot” representative at Solace Ministries (partially funded), who ensures the implementation of all tasks related to the sponsorships. This not only brings attention to the women in the Mukomeze sponsorship program, but also speeds up our requests with regard to sponsorships.
At the start of the sponsorship, the sponsor receives a photo of the woman, along with a testimony of what she experienced during the genocide and how she has fared since. Twice a year, sponsors are informed of the developments and progress regarding their “sponsored woman”. Every February sponsors will receive a letter written by the woman herself. Every August, an updated report will be received from Solace Ministries, relating to the woman’s current situation, the use of her sponsorship, and what her ambitions are for the future. Solace Ministries keeps track of whether a woman is “empowered”; which depends on the individual and the circumstances in which she lives. However, it may take several years for a woman to become completely independent. The sponsorship ceases when a woman is “empowered”, but also if before that time she marries, and the man has sufficient income to support them for the foreseeable future (in the latter case, there are other women who are more in need of the sponsorship). In either case, with the consent of the sponsor, the sponsorship will be passed onto another woman. If the sponsor stops the sponsorship before a woman is “empowered”, the Mukomeze Foundation endeavours to find a new sponsor. If that fails, the Mukomeze Foundation will continue the woman’s sponsorship by means of financing her from general funds, if enough are available.