Nyamirambo Community Tour
Many Rwandan women face gender-based violence, inequality, and discrimination. The Nyamirambo Women’s Center (NWC) opened in 2007 to provide education and training to disadvantaged women so that they can gain better opportunities for employment. To fulfill its mandate, NWC offers to the community different activities, such as free classes in literacy, English, basic computer skills, handicrafts and sewing, empowerment trainings on gender based violence and trainings on community based tourism.
In order to ensure they can support their community, the Nyamirambo Women’s Center started taking advantage of the tourism industry in Kigali by offering community tours, cooking classes and craft workshops.
The Nyamirambo Women’s Center launched the product line “Umutima” – including housewares and children’s wear, employing women from the community, at a fair wage for their work. At the moment there are 50 women employed as seamstresses, and women from various other cooperatives contribute their weaving talents through contracts with Nyamirambo.
As part of NWC’s goals to promote women in tourism, the center has started to offer community walking tour and lunch. The community-based tour runs in Nyamirambo community of Kigali, giving visitors an insight into the every-day life and challenges, social events and businesses. It also employs six local guides to facilitate and organize the tours.G Adventures travellers obtain an authentic experience and at the same time the tour benefits the women at NWC and the community at large.
Verena is one of the youngest women working for Umutima. Before joining NWC, Verena lived with her 7 brothers and sisters working at the family home. Her days were spent in the garden and doing household chores. Her large family ran out of money for school fees and Verena was forced to stop going to school. Now, Verena makes the long 2.5 hour walk each way to NWC. She is grateful to be learning valuable skills and she feels happier now. The women in the group discuss, talk and laugh together. She feels fortunate to be a part of the group. She plans to work hard and one day own her own sewing machine.
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