Meet Esperance Nyirahabiyambere, a beneficiary of the PFA project
By Maria Kaitesi & Edward Karangwa
An aura of confidence, empowerment and wisdom fills the room when she begins to speak. Esperance Nyirahabiyambere is among the 9,000 plus direct beneficiaries of the Public Financing in Agriculture (PFA) project in Rwanda. She is a 36 year old widow and a mother of three children, aged 4, 10 and 13.
She is a small holder farmer whose life has been transformed ever since she joined a cooperative, “Tuzamure Agaseke” under the PFA program. She grows cassava, maize and beans for her household consumption and income generation. Through this project she was empowered with skills and knowledge about agriculture. She has taken part of a number of trainings including trainings in community mobilization and communication skills, networking and coalition building ,participatory budget planning and tracking, cooperative leadership skills, formation of cooperatives, structures and registration, cooperative activity planning, proposal writing and basic accounting.
“Through such projects, I have been empowered with knowledge and confidence. This gave me the passion to become a leader as well and help other women farmers get empowered. Today, I am the chairperson of the women farmers’ network at Sector level and a network member at District level on advisory position,” she noted.
One of the most interesting insights for Esperance is knowing that participatory budget planning and tracking is her right, “I thought this was a government affair and I had no role in it at all. I am glad that I can actually play a role in this as well.”
Esperance concludes that she is a much better, confident and knowledgeable farmer today because of the PFA.