ASYV Women's Co-Op
+250 0784 912 333
In the town of Ntunga, the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village has thrived with community and support for orphaned children to grow in a supportive environment. The local 5.4 megawatt solar power farm has provided the village and 5% of Rwanda with renewable energy that is available to the community. Although these needs are met for the children, many women in the village are left without jobs or stability for their homes. The Women's Co-Op would carry our mission to enable the women to create a collaborative, entrepreneurial and sustainable environment by providing infrastructure. The space would cultivate community meetings and empowerment amongst each other to create their own businesses.
To enable access to electricity and empower communities with leading socio-economic development solutions in energy, environment, entrepreneurship, education and enjoyment.
If the project were to be done with the ASYV, the land is owned outright. The original project cost is unknown since this was through another organization. The cost of this project would range depending on how much could be donated through another NGO interested in the project or the existing organization if there is room for expansion.
The land has potentially been procured. The ASYV organization owns the 170 acres of land for the solar farm and an additional 144 acres of land for the youth village. The Co-Op could be on this land or within the nearby village.
The ASYV is a great place to visit and offers tours all year long. They can also host overnight guests and are accommodating to all group sizes, except when there is graduation. You can go to the website or email Marie-Claire Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are affordable local bus groups that go out towards the ASYV that could be used for the visit.
We hope to make this a flexible space that could accommodate different types of space for the women and their work. This could include the following program:
- Community gathering space
- 8-10 shop windows/booths
- 8-10 work spaces for possible harvesting, (food?) storage, textiles, jewelry, sewing
We want this space to be inspiring, innovation and to cultivate creativity. Every woman has a great idea and we want them to be able to make that idea come to life!
The political challenge regards the energy crisis and land ownership. The government doesn't want to have excess energy, reducing renewable energy projects and we want to preserve land for the community that is already there. Think of ways the women could be a part of the landownership.
The hope is that this project could be constructed in the next 3-5 years. There could be potential for adding solar to the site, however, Rwanda already has an over compensation of energy in the country making it difficult to add any renewable energy projects. The challenge is to bring the solar to the rural communities. This challenge would take some creativity to consider how we can utilize what is already there. The project could be done in a shorter period of time without adding solar to avoid political tension.