When kids come in……everything becomes heavenly awesome and …FUN!!


Our tenth blog so far. Firstly we do apologize for the delay in updating the blog. A lot has been going on this week that we didn’t have enough time to do so.


Plastic with earth ready to receive baby  trees 


On Sunday, there was a very special event of conducting our questionnaires’ survey by one to one conversations with every single beneficiary.


Emmanuel having a conversation with a beneficiary and completing  a form for her.


The survey in whole went well, even though at the beginning the participants weren’t getting it well. But little by little, they got to understand, and answered to the questions  honestly. The study’s outcome are going to be taken from 25 questionnaires that will be chosen completely at random.


All the questionnaires filled in at the end of the day

On the same day, still, saving groups did work. And beneficiaries are still as motivated as they have always been.



One of the members’ saving book as per last sunday.



We are really glad of the “imishishi” trees, that are now in the tree nursery and about to be planted in front of the houses.



Vegetables too are ready. That include cabbages, onions and beetroots that are being koved to the gardens. Dodo are now ready for harvest by tomorrow (monday). Carrots are also growing up and really give hope to have a big harvest.


Dodo ready for harvest


this weekend then was dedicated to take care of the latest kitchen gardens in which beetroots will be planted. It was also a special weekend because we decided to make it a kids’ weekend.IMG-20150510-WA0006

As we have been seeing, kids are most of the time scattered in the camp’s courtyard, playing. Thus we decided to dedicate this weekend’s activities to them so that they could understand what their parents are involved in…….AND HAVE FUN



What is it for?

I the morning with help of their parents, we all worked together in renewing one kitchen garden’s soil, and add in more manure. Kids really did an awesome job. I can’t wait to show you the videos. But here are the pictures.









And in the afternoon, it was time to have FUN. We had time to play cards (well Ephrem only because Jean Luc was tired or he is bad at cards 🙂 🙂 ) and we took a ride in the wheelbarrows ….


Ephrem with them playing cards.

As it was Sunday, as usual, saving took place. And right after, we had another important activity of moving beetroots and cabbages to the kitchen gardens. It wasn’t a hard work, but as everyone attended, this really made it so easy and enjoyable.



The ladies moving beetroots to tha garden




One of the beneficiary watering the new Dodo.


Mugisha planting cabbages from the tree nursery


That is what the week has been like, and we are looking forward to having a visit from Tearfund team this week.


Unfortunately it is so sad that the project is nearly at its end, but we do hope activities will continue. GO GREEN!!

Keep in touch (#English)





“Rules are meant to be broken”……well, not here!!


Our ninth  blog is out. Time is moving so fast.





The first picture we took when we arrived at our new field, now turned into the home of seed beds



Last weekend

The last weekend was mainly dedicated to set up an accurate set of rules and regulations that are going to be followed by the self help groups.

The rules are mainly divided into three main categories:

  • Articles about joining and leaving groups
  • Articles about financial transaction inside the group
  • And articles about punishments to infringing the rules.




We first had a general meeting on Saturday as the managing team, and exchanged ideas about topics to be explained inside those regulations. At the end of the day, we came up with a proposed document about which we discussed with the beneficiaries on the next day, Sunday.


Sunday was quite a long day, as the schedule was really heavy. We first had a passport photo-shoot, where we took every beneficiary’s passport picture for mainly their saving books and further use.

It may sound as a simple work, but trust me on this one, it was not easy. People kept on making others laugh in front of the camera, and many of them really couldn’t stand still. 🙂


Not an easy job for the photographer.


Finally done 🙂

After the photo-shoot, it was time for a serious talk about the set regulations.

Ideas were exchanged, and at the end of the day, a clear document was set and printed. The constitution was elected. 🙂



Ephrem discussing with the groups





Updates about tree nurseries.

Everything is going well. Some of the seeds are delaying a bit in growing up, but the good thing is, all the vegetables are soon ready for the kitchen gardens.

About the kitchen garden in which we planted some vegetables last week, the dodos are already growing up, and we are expecting starting to harvest in two weeks.


IMG-20150423-WA0018                                             Last weeks picture while we were planting the dodos

As the project is nearly approaching its last days (from the grant’s view), during this weekend, we will be conducting a survey using questionnaires. The survey will be about the benefits that the project is bringing to the beneficiaries. Each and every beneficiary, helped by a volunteer, will be asked to answer a number of questions on the questionnaire.

Just to mention it, we will need some volunteers to help us with this. If you feel interested, and are available, please  contact us, and we will talk. God bless!

If you would like to read through the document containing rules and regulations, click here

It is in Kinyarwanda, but if you need it translated, leave a comment below.

If you would like to read through the questionnaire we will be filling this weekend, click  here

It is in Kinyarwanda, but if you need it translated, leave a comment below.

مَع السَلامة (GoodBye (with peace)  #Arabic)


“A Goal is a dream with a deadline” – Napoleon HILL

Habali?  (How are you #Swahili)

Our eighth blog so far. A lot, as always, has been going on.

First of all, a bad news. One of the members of the Green Saves team is no longer part of it. That is Placide UWIZEYE. Due to his personal reasons, he had to leave the project for good. So we are now 3 members in the managing team plus 3 advisors, but we are still as motivated as we were on the first day.

Ending Last week


As much of the vegetables are getting ready to be moved to the tree nursery, last week’s Thursday and Fridays were about getting the plastic covers ready for receiving the new baby trees. That means filling the plastic with earth and manure.






Beneficiaries filling the small plastic bags with earth

On Thursday again, we were honored to welcome a second visit from ICS Tearfund Staff. They appreciated the progress the project is making, and the perception of the beneficiaries towards the project.


On Saturday

On the very day, the project had an honor of being invited to the ICS Alumni event, where we presented to our fellow former In-Country Volunteers and alumni about what the project is, its goals and how actually the grant we received is being used. …and had fun!!

Apologies for the loss of indoor pictures from the event.









On Sunday

we had a privilege to visit the current ICS Rwamagana team. We mainly shared our different ICS experiences, talked about the project and had some fun Although transport was a big issue on the very day, but we really had some good memories from Rwamaga at the end of the day.




Back in the camp, saving still went on, as it was the agreed day to do so.



On Wednesday

We had another amazing visit from Kigali Team, plus two other former ICS volunteers.



We all worked together in moving ready “Dodo” to one kitchen garden. And the good news is, in a 2 weeks time, we will be having our first harvest!! J Can’t wait


They also lent us a hand in removing bad grasses that are growing in the middles of the seedbeds.




We really appreciate all these guys’ visits.


During this weekend. We are looking forward to making two new beg kitchen gardens, and on Sunday, keep on saving as usual.


Thank you! (thank you #English)

A BILL IS ACTUALLY MADE OF COINS: Start-up of “Saving” in Self-Help Groups

Muraho! (Hello #Kinyarwanda)

This is our seventh blog. On this one, we will mainly talk about an event that took place this last Sunday. The starting of saving in self-help groups.



On the very day we had a chance still to have visitors, 3 ICS Alumni from March and July cycle 2014.


Some of the visitors of the day

The event was started by explaining to the beneficiaries what tools we had brought  to be used by the saving groups. Those included notebooks, saving books and steel boxes in which money is going to be kept.



One of the groups leader holding a box with Placide



         One of the beneficiaries with a saving book

After that, everyone moved to their own groups, and we started filling in the saving books that Green Saves made for them.  Everyone seemed happy and motivated.



Ephrem helping a man to fill in a saving book

After, it was time to start saving. As we had agreed the week before, the minimum saving (for those who can) is 100 Rwandan Francs per week. Surprisingly, some of the beneficiaries, with benefits they understood to be in saving, got to save to 500 Rwandan francs on the same day. We were really touched by the way they are motivated


Coins in a box

Closing balance of each group

Group                                                                    Closing balance

  • ABAKORANABUSHAKE                                            900 Rwfs
  • ABADAHIGWA                                                          1100 Rwfs
  • INKOTANYI                                                                1100Rwfs
  • INYANGAKURUSHWA                                                600Rwfs
  • ISONGA                                                                      2300Rwfs

After every member had put his saving into the box, the box was locked with two padlocks. One of the padlocks key was kept by the leader of the group, and the other one was kept by the  accountant of the group, so to increase the safety of the box.

After the saving part was over, we all had smiles on our faces, especially Green Saves team, because of the great thing the beneficiaries had started.


IMG_20150412_165909                                                            Placide distributing the books



At the same time, one of our visitors took time to converse with the camp’s youth, especially girls. They mainly talked about what problems teenagers from the camp meet, especially girls. Thus, they tried to talk about them, “in a girly way”.




In the middle is Tessy, talking to the girls



The girls really looked happy, and cute 🙂

Thus we again sat down altogether, and talked a little bit about how the event had gone, and questions got asked. The event was then closed by a prayer from Dickson, thanking God for such a wonderful day we had had.



Dickson about to start his prayer


From deep inside, we are glad this project is making good progress, may God keep on blessing it!




#PeaceMeeeen!!! 🙂

Vaarwel (Goodbye #Dutch)




This is our sixth blog so far. We have been really busy, even too busy to write the blog. (we do apologize for that)

Good news, most of the vegetable seeds are already growing up, and we are looking forward to moving them to the tree nursery.


Small “dodo”s



                  Little carrots


Last week, we were mainly busy with increasing the number of kitchen gardens for the camp. 2 more kitchen gardens were made mainly by  the beneficiaries.


On Saturday

On Saturday, it was time for a second round of session.

Saving. The word of the big day. We started by explaining what saving is all about, how to save efficiently, and how to use money that has been saved.



Jean Luc, talking about the culture of regular saving

We were amazed and inspired by all the experiences that we found the beneficiaries having about saving, because, following what they told us, back in Tanzania they had been saving, and had achieved many great things. We then shared what we knew about saving for the future.


One of the beneficiaries telling a testimony about saving

Unfortunately, the only obstacle that we all came upon to conclude the presence, is few revenue that the camp’s occupants still have.

Some of the occupants still complained about having nothing to save, because they own nothing at all. But after a long talk and discussion, we all agreed that a little income is actually not an excuse for not saving.


One of the beneficiaries talking about the little income problem


With the will that the majority of the beneficiaries had to implement what has been learnt during the session, we all agreed that the process of saving in the groups should start, and the members on their own came upon deciding a date on which to start, and the amount of money to save per week. 100 Rwfs (0.14 US$) was the agreed amount. Something that we are really glad of.


On Monday

On Monday, we went on taking care of the seed beds. Some bad grasses had started to grow in the middle of the growing seeds. So it was time to get them removed.


In the afternoon, we were glad to receive a team of 5 visitors who are ICS alumni (former In-Country volunteers) from Kigali and Rwamagana last cycle’s team.

Firstly, we took time to show and explain to them what the project does.


Ephrem explaining more about the Dodo seedbed

After that, we got an opportunity to meet with the beneficiaries and our visitors were given time to talk about the experiences and testimonies they had from self-Help groups with which they had worked during their ICS cycle.


One of the visitors talking about one selfHelp group she has been with in Rwamagana

After the meeting, the beneficiaries were really glad of the visit and asked the visitors to come back.


One of the beneficiaries expressing her gratitude

On Thursday

We had another big day . The day was about making two new gardens for carrots. We were definitely pleased by the attendance.







After the garden was ready, we took time to build a small shield over the onions seedbed because we saw that rain is actually damaging the small plants.





Building the small shield

That is what the week has all been about, and we are all glad of the progress the project is making, we hope you too are. 🙂

Au revoir!!

Up with a marker pen, ready to deliver sessions….:)

Sanibonani!! Ninjani? (Hello, how are you?   #Zulu)

This is our fifth blog. We can’t believe time is moving so quickly, can you?



This hasn’t been a very busy week for us, as we are already done with the seed bed, and still waiting for the very “first-born” trees, to be moved to the houses and kitchen gardens.

As usual, during  the 5 days of the week, with mainly the help of the self-help groups, the work consisted of taking care of the seed beds.

And during the weekend, we had a very great joy of delivering our first-ever session to all groups. The session was about “Team Building” and “Teamwork”.


                 The attendance was really at maximum

It was prepared and delivered by Jean Luc.

During the session, we talked about what a team is,its benefits, team conflicts and how to resolve them.




Jean Luc giving the session’s introduction

With the aid of videos and some games for adults that mainly involve thinking (like “the worst situation…), we were able to identify how more advantageous it is to work in teams than it is individually.



One short video about teamwork

After the session, most of the audience really seemed convinced about the topic, considering all the feedback they did give.



One of the beneficiaries giving feedback after the session

We were all happy of the event it had been, and at the end all notes used during the session were put on a public wall for a future use.


The handout used during the session is available below, in Kinyarwanda.

Just click here

In summary, that is what the week was all about.

Murakoze.(Thank you #Kinyarwanda)


When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option, it’s a necessity” – #GreenSaves





Hola gente buena!!  (Hello good people, #Spanish)

This is our fourth blog so far. A lot has been going on since last week. We can’t wait to tell. Fasten your seat-belt, and enjoy the ride.


                        Emmy having fun with kids

Good news first, some of the vegetables we planted last week are already growing. 🙂



This is “Dodo” A kind of vegetable that is eaten frequently in Rwanda

From Tuesday to Friday, mainly work consisted of just taking care of the new seed bed. That said, it includes regular watering, covering with special grasses and so on…


Close to the viewer is the nursery houses, and far left is the seed bed


DSC_2228                          Emmy doing some i don’t know what with the grasses. This is the seed bed.

On Saturday, as usual, it was the greatest opportunity for us to meet with all our beneficiaries. The meeting was  led by Ephrem.

DSC_2368                                      Ephrem answering some questions from the beneficiaries

We mainly discussed on the way the Self Help groups are going to be operating in taking care of the seed bed and the kitchen gardens. They really showed themselves willing to work hard so to have the gardens productive.



Attentive and enjoying what is being said.

DSC_2359                                                  OMG….I hope this project works, if it doesn’t….:(

After the meeting, it was time for a session. The session was more of a practical thing, and consisted of teaching the beneficiaries how a seed bed is made.



Ephrem giving some explanations

For the very first time, we got nearly a maximum attendance of the beneficiaries, with a smile on each face.

DSC_2394                                                                    Trust me …this is a smile!

Here comes the steps:

  1. First, earth is “collected” to make a 30 centimeter-long pile.


2. Manure is put at the top of earth


3.  Manure and earth are mixed altogether




4. Small holes are made all along the pile






5.  Seeds are put inside the holes……wait….When it rains,Rwandans go find a shelter. But the photographer stays. 🙂






As the place is called Bweramvura (a place where rain comes from), it rains every day.  Even though rain interrupted our session, it was a blessing again, as it  was watering the already-in-place seed bed.


At the end of the day, everybody was so glad of the long day we had had.




DSC_2542                                                Together Everyone Achieves More, TEAM.


Hope you enjoyed the blog.

HAMBA KHALE (Goodbye in Zulu)

Pictures by LuC4tO. All rights reserved 🙂




An TV weekend : A visit from ICS Tearfund staff, and the district staff…..wait…..and the national Television!!

As usual it has been a busy week for us.

From Wednesday to Friday, we focused on preparing the new piece of land we got, and making a big model kitchen garden for the camp.





In the afternoon, we had an amazing chance to be visited by the Kigali ICS Team. They got to see what we do, and they actually talked to our beneficiaries mainly about  “Personal Development”. We are really grateful for that.



Pauline, the team leader delivering her session in Swahili, a common language here.


On Saturday, it was a big day. In the morning, there was a big Umuganda (community work) for building 3 new houses for the camp. After, the technicians said everything that was done had a value of approximately 3,2 million rwandan francs.

After the Umuganda, that’s when the Mayor came to  officially start the new kitchen gardens we made for the camp, by planting the very first seeds. We explained  much about the project, and Tearfund ICS as well. It wasn’t so hard, because he already knew, as he has been in charge of ICS Volunteers in AEE (an NGO partner of Tearfund) while we were on our cycle.






Yeah, don’t take me for a liar. These images were taken by Rwanda Television (notice the logo), and we are part of them. Proven fact. 🙂



Faith MBABAZI, a known journalist and presenter in Rwanda, seeking for more explanations about the project.

In the afternoon, we welcomed the ICS-Tearfund staff: Joan, Maddie and Olivier. We take them on a tour 🙂 around all the project, and explained everything.


After, we altogether had a time seat down with the beneficiaries. We talked about many things, including what ICS and Tearfund are. We also talked about our very project. And the beneficiaries had a time to ask as many questions as they wanted.


Joan thanking the beneficiaries for having us.






Olivier, talking more about the Tearfund

At the end, everyone was glad of the time we had, and mainly the beneficiaries didn’t want the staff to leave :).

The meeting was closed by a prayer from Joan.




On Monday, we then went on making a seed bed, as the timeline says. It was not an easy work, and took a long while to end. Now,the entire seed bed is ready.

That is all the week was about. We are keeping you posted.

Hasta Pronto.


Our first week……a brand new project launched!!

It has been a busy weekend in Green Saves. Here is what has been going on.


On Saturday, we had our very first  field work. It was a hot and sunny day.  Firstly, we prepared the part of the land that will be used as a “seed bed”. In the morning, the land was bushy, and had some tree bananas planted still. We cleared the part of the land according to the measurement that are relevant to the future tree nursery.




After long hours of work, we had an opportunity in the afternoon to meet with the engineer in charge of the construction of the camp houses, and we did talk about where and how we will place the kitchen gardens for the new houses.




On the next day, we took from where we had left on Saturday, and we went on with cleaning parts of the land. Approximately, 2/3 of the land preparation were done by Sunday.







At 4:00 PM, it was the time we had dedicated to having a mega meeting with the camp’s community. Nearly, we got a maximum attendance from the occupants.



We started by explaining a little bit about the project again, and asking for some feedback or ideas from the beneficiaries.

After it was the big moment that we had all been waiting for, start-up self-help groups.



At the end, we were able to form 5 groups. Each of them made by 9-12 people, and the beneficiaries were really excited to start working in the groups.

The groups are by names:

















The day was closed by a little dance to celebrate the woman’s international day. It was good and full of fun.



On Monday, we still went on finishing the field preparation work. Removing grasses and clearing holes in the ground, that would lead into accumulation of water in the field.

At 3:00 PM, all the field looked perfect, and ready for construction and plantation of the tree nursery.

That is all the weekend was about, still, looking forward to keeping you updated about what we do, weekly.

God bless you, and God bless Green Saves.


Yeeeeeaaaahhhh…..OUR FIRST DAY!!!

Today, on March 06th 2015, we had our first day of operation. In the morning we went to the camp, and we had a meeting with the beneficiaries. Around 25 chiefs of families were there, and we were told others weren’t present because they had to go to look for a living outside the camp for their families, but that we wil have an occasion to talk to them on saturday.

The meeting was great. We started introducing ourselves, and they did the same. Placide explained about the project, and Ephrem entered in details about it.



                  Ephrem talking about the project

After, the beneficiaries were given time to ask questions and give suggestions about the project.

The meeting took about a half hour and before closing, the beneficiaries expresses their joy and happiness about the project, and promised to provide enough commitment for the project to run as planned.





The project’s team altogether

After the meeting, we went to see the field where the tree nurseries will be put together with the camp’s leader. We took the exact measurements and talked about the way it is going to be used.

In the afternoon, we came back to the central city. We went for the purchase of the first-round materials, and thank God, we got everything we needed. Nearly at 5:00 PM, we came back to the camp with the materials, and kept them safely, and finally THE DAY WAS OVER.

We would like to inform you that since today, we will be updating the blog weekly. Thank you for being with us and STAY IN TOUCH