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Walmart Foundation, USAID & Global Communities Join Forces Through a $1 Million Expansion of a “Brighter Future” in Rwanda

Source: CHF International - Fri, 28 Mar 2014 11:57 GMT
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Kigali – Today the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Walmart Foundation announced a ${esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}1 million expansion to the USAID Ejo Heza (“Brighter Future”) program, which is being implemented by Global Communities. The announcement was made jointly by John Ames, Chief of Party of the Ejo Heza, and USAID Agriculture Specialist, Patrice Hakizimana, during a visit to an Ejo Heza project site as part of a press tour to celebrate USAID’s 50th Anniversary.

The funding from the Walmart Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the large U.S. retailer Walmart, is being given through a Global Development Alliance – or public-private partnership – with USAID. The ${esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}1 million from the Walmart Foundation will support an additional 50,000 farmers with training in bio-intensive agricultural techniques that emphasize the production of corn, beans, and dairy, as well as nutrient-rich vegetables. Bio-intensive gardening includes techniques that allow many varieties of nutritious plants to be raised on small plots of land, thus jointly addressing issues of malnutrition and land scarcity. The techniques will be taught to the farmers – 60 percent of whom will be women – through Farmer Field Schools, which are community-based agricultural training groups.  

“This additional funding demonstrates the commitment of USAID and the Walmart Foundation to the Ejo Heza approach and the tremendous work that our Rwandan and international partner organizations have been carrying out since August 2011. Ejo Heza means ‘Brighter Future’ in Kinyarwanda, and this additional support will help to ensure that we can continue delivering on that promise” said John Ames, Ejo Heza Chief of Party.

The new funding will complement ${esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}12.5 million already invested by USAID in the Ejo Heza program which currently trains farmers in practical, bio-intensive farming techniques and builds their ability to generate sustainable incomes through cooperatives and community saving and lending groups. The program will also include cooking demonstrations, household water harvesting, and access to small livestock.   In addition intensive trainings will be given to top-performing farmers to enable them to train others.

“USAID is incredibly proud of this partnership with Walmart and Global Communities. It’s innovative partnerships like this that allow us to leverage scarce resources to meet critical development needs in areas like nutrition and food security here in Rwanda,” said Peter Malnak, USAID Mission Director.
The Ejo Heza program is part of USAID’s global Feed The Future Initiative which seeks to improve food security, nutrition, and sustainable economic development in vulnerable communities around the world. The partnership also works to achieve Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Goals. USAID intends to match this Walmart contribution with an additional ${esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}1 million that will be utilized to provide nutrition-related training activities to the 50,000 farmers. With the additional funding from the Walmart Foundation, Ejo Heza now plans to reach a total of 125,000 Rwandans.
 
USAID
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the foreign assistance agency of the U.S. government. USAID’s mission is to partner with local and international organizations to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while also advancing U.S. security and prosperity. USAID provides approximately ${esc.dollar}{esc.dollar}150 million worth of assistance annually to Rwanda in the areas of health, economic growth, education, and democracy and governance.
 
Walmart Foundation
The Walmart Foundation's mission is to create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation believes that it has a responsibility to make a positive impact in communities across the United States and abroad by focusing on providing charitable giving in four core areas of focus: Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Women's Economic Empowerment, and Career Opportunity.
 
About Global Communities
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization founded in 1952 that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Global Communities believes that the people who understand their needs best are the people of the community itself. Learn more at www.globalcommunities.org

 

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