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Our Approach

These are the principles that guide our aid work:

Willingness and Self-Sacrifice as a Starting Point
Before a co-op is accepted as a WD4H partner, our Rwanda Team meets with the members over many months to see if they truly have the willingness to dedicate themselves to the greater good of their community. This is a very tall order, something quite rare for human beings. But it is a prerequisite to our program, crucial to its success.

Working from the Inside-Out
Unlike many charities that work top-down, offering a pre-set agenda for development, we work from the inside-out, helping people “own their transformation” by supporting projects that they envision and plan. As a small, non-bureaucratic, unencumbered organization, we are open, flexible, and light on our feet – able to respond to these visions and plans with assets, innovation, and imagination.

A Holistic Approach
Most organizations focus on one aspect of development – clean water, healthcare, agriculture, microenterprise, etc. We are focused on the development of the community as a whole. Our programs evolve along with the communities – helping them meet both short-term needs and long-term aspirations. From cookstoves to cows, solar panels to scholarships, bikes to businesses, menstrual pads to permagardens, mattresses to milk goats!

Deep Psychological Transformation
When we first met the Rwandans, they had no resources, no formal education, and no hope for the future. Our Rwandan Team has been working steadily and deeply with each community – listening to their needs, providing guidance, modeling reconciliation and cooperation, helping them move beyond their tortured past and believe in themselves and each other.

Buhoro Buhoro – Slowly Slowly
Our co-op members emerged from the 1994 Genocide with psychological and physical scarring beyond our comprehension. It takes many years for hearts and minds to heal – to rekindle hope. Imposing a western timeline for progress makes no sense. Our co-ops evolve at their own pace, guided along the way by our Rwanda Team, with the knowledge that we are with them all along the way.

Sharing the Lessons Learned
You know the adage: “Give them a fish and they will eat for a day. Teach them how to fish and they will eat for a lifetime.” We go beyond this. Our veteran co-ops (those we’ve been working with since 2013) are now mentoring the newer co-ops in every aspect of their development. We are teaching the co-ops to teach each other. Sustainability at its best!

In Rwanda to Stay
After the Genocide, Rwandans felt invisible and forgotten, on the brink of oblivion. Trust, empathy, love…had all but disappeared. Our support has let them know they are not alone. They experience this support as love, pure and powerful, which is felt in every family and neighborhood. They know we have made a lifelong commitment to them, that we are walking beside them all the way.

Making Every Dollar Count
Thanks to our frugal approach to administration and our very careful allocation of funds, nothing is wasted. Every dollar donated has maximum impact on the communities we serve. Thanks to an annual gift that covers our minimal organizational expenses, not one penny of any donation designated for Rwanda goes to overhead.

Our Talented Rwanda Team!
The success of our programs lies in the hands of our incredible Rwanda Team, whose extraordinary skill, commitment, and passion are helping these communities lift themselves out of poverty. A true understanding of their own people makes it possible to penetrate their hopelessness and division and inspire them to rebuild their lives. 


WD4H Receives Top Award from the Rwandan Government


By staying true to the above principles, we gained the recognition of the Rwandan Government and received an award in June 2019. “Our work has been identified as the most impactful in Eastern Rwanda. Our education, agriculture, training, community support, and business programs, are transforming the communities. Deepest thanks to the donors who make all this possible!”  – Justin Bisengimana, Rwanda Program Director

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