Papa Savings Group. . .
Encouraging papas to get involved with their family’s health and well-being is an ongoing objective of Gardens for Health. Recently the field supervisors in the northern Musanze District devised an idea for a papa savings group pilot program at the
. This is
another innovations project along with the Mentor Mama program featured in the
last blog. In conjunction with the objective of understanding and practicing
financial savings, there will be six health trainings offered to this papa
group over time, including; nutrition, HIV/AIDS, family planning, listening /communication,
mental health and gender based violence. Samuel, the field coordinator in
Musanze, who has spearheaded this effort, is enthusiastic about the outcome
despite meeting some initial challenges. Kabere Health Center
There was a misunderstanding at the first meeting when 23 papas expected Gardens for Health to give them a payment of 1500 RWF (about $2.20 USD) for attendance. The source of this information is unknown, but perhaps can be attributed to the semantics of ‘meeting’ vs. ‘training’ in
are often subsidized by NGOs in Rwanda, but are not part of GHI’s strategy,
especially since mamas commit to attend trainings without being paid. Instead
GHI invested 1000 RWF for the first two shares in the savings scheme, provided
food and refreshment at the first meeting, as well as facilitating the savings
group process. Some papas accept that GHI already has helped their families
tremendously by providing their wives with the health and agriculture
trainings, a home visit, the home garden seed packages, tree seedlings, the
choice of 6 live rabbits or 4 live chickens, as well as 1000RWF upon
graduation. Other papas were upset and angry, resulting in much fervent
At the second meeting, held at a house, the attendance was lower, partially because of illness and also a lack of committed participants. Samuel and Katembo, GHI’s Monitoring and Evaluations Manager, did baseline savings surveys to help assess the overall impact of the program (separate health surveys will be done later). Led by an elected president, members of the group discussed in detail specific guidelines and requirements for membership.
Despite the meeting being in Kinyarwanda this was an interesting process to observe. It seems that the participating papas are eager to make a difference for their wives and children. As an extra bonus for me, it was gratifying to see the GHI health and agricultural color training handouts displayed on the back wall in the house’s main room, exemplifying the family’s pride and accountability as members of the Gardens for Health community-at-large.
Papas discuss controversial training payment
situation with Samuel, Musanze Field Coordinator
Residence where Papa
Savings group convened
Samuel and Katembo, Monitoring and Evaluation
Manager, assist with accounting and paperwork
GHI training materials are proudly displayed
Samuel doing savings survey
First deposits for shares being made
and recorded. Samuel includes two
shares from GHI to each member.