Grassroots Rwanda

Grassroots Rwanda aims to establish 1000 Self Help Groups for 20,000 women living in extreme poverty (surviving on less than AUD$120 per year) in rural Rwanda.


To accomplish this outcome, Foxglove works in partnership with AEE Rwanda, an indigenous faith-based NGO registered in Rwanda in 1987. AEE Rwanda introduced the Self Help Group approach to the country in 2003. Since then, more than 200,000 women have joined an SHG and discovered life to transform social, economic and human rights benefits. These include establishing supportive friendships and thriving local businesses, improved family health, private health insurance, access to child and adult education, as well as decreased incidence of domestic violence. This development approach may start with women but impacts entire communities.An SHG in Rwanda brings 20 women living in poverty together for life. It offers weekly savings, personal development and small business training, social connection and support. A minimum of 10 SHGs is started in each village to create a micro-economy. It takes a one-time investment of $30 per woman, $600 per SHG or $6000 per village (10 SHGs) to provide community consultation engaging village support, personal development and vocational training, entrepreneurship mentoring and small internal group loans. With this foundation, the women establish micro businesses in agriculture, animal husbandry, handicrafts and petit trade. From tiny beginnings, women from the SHG take care of their own family and community needs.


It is a remarkable story. She makes her future.

Grassroots Rwanda Stories


To start 1000 Self Help Groups in Nyamagabe,  Rwanda

Sub goals

20,000 women join a Self Help Group across 100 villages over 5 years

Personal development and skills training for every woman to start small self sustaining businesses

SHG Women provide shelter, education, health care, food & nutrition for their families

SHG Women become local community leaders and development advocates across their districts


Foxglove supports the provision of the following services by its in-country partner, AEE Rwanda:

Community Networking

Community leaders identifying poorest women in the community

Wider community meetings ensuring support

Group Coordinator

1 coordinator for every 10 SHGs

SHGs Paid position for 12-18 months

Facilitates formation of Village Cluster (2 women from each SHG)


8 basic training modules in first six months (e.g. saving & loans, literacy, communication, conflict resolution, entrepreneurship)

Ongoing training in health & hygiene, agriculture…

Ongoing Evaluation

Narrative and statistical reporting 6 monthly

Story telling tracking small number women from each Village Cluster

Impact & Achievements

Foxglove supports the provision of the following services by its in-country partner, AEE Rwanda:

Personal Empowerment

96% women become independent and self supporting within 18 months

96% women functionally literate for small business

Friendship & Social Capital

97% women remain in a SHG for the long term

Women suggest friendship greatest benefit of joining a SHG


97% SHG women start up small to medium self sustaining businesses

SHGs form group cooperatives to share financial returns and business knowledge

Family Health & Wellbeing

97% women pay for family cover under Government health insurance policy

Women provide families with 3 balanced meals within 18 months

Grassroots Rwanda Gallery

How can I support Grassroots Rwanda?


Change a woman's life forever