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Grant Update: A cafe in Rwanda

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Grant update from Fulgence Ndagijimana, Flaming Chalice International

Grant Name: Flaming Chalice Refugee Café      

1. The purpose of our grant is: To support Burundian refugees in Rwanda to set up a café

2. Who has benefited from this project?

Twelve people have DIRECTLY benefitted from the project because they work on the project and get an income at the end of every month. Thirty children and dependents have benefited indirectly.  Approximately 100 people shop from those places every week and in an indirect way, they too benefit from the project.

3. What have you done to reinvest profit back into the projects?

In the course of the project implementation, the refugees working on the café noticed that people were looking for hamburgers and grilled potatoes.  With the profits, they bought a cooker and decided to remain open until late. That has made a difference for attracting a customer base and therefore making profits.

4. What are you doing for “Sharing the Gift”?

In the normal functioning of the café, there is a Sharing the Gift built in. Every day, there are a few refugees who come and who cannot pay for their meals.  The café has had an average of two refugees a day fed at no charge.  They may contribute by washing the dishes, but they do not have to.  It is a way to give back to the community and bless others as the participants in the project are blessed too.

Josiane brings a hamburger to a hungry customer.

5. Has this project met your expectations? 

YES. It was designed to help refugees get an income and provide for their own needs and those of their families and this exactly what happened. It was also to reaffirm the dignity of the refugees who lost everything and have no prospects of going back home in the foreseeable future.  Having something to do and earning their own income means the world to them.

6. Please explain how this project has affected you and others involved. Have you seen changes in your community?

The changes we have seen in the community is the pride that refugees have when talking about the project and how it changed their lives for the better. The other visible change is that the community especially of Burundi refugees living in Kigali have found a community. It is a place where people come to connect and network. We think this project does more than providing income it builds peace and provides hope.

7. What have you learned from this process?

We have learned that a small grant can go a long way and support many people both directly and indirectly. We have also learned that many refugees are not waiting for handouts. They are looking for ways to be independent and get back the dignity that losing their home country took away.  We believe the work we do together is important, life changing and provides hope.

“Refugees are looking for ways to be independent and get back the dignity that losing their home country took away. “

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