The Icyizere Initiative
Icyizere Initiative (The “Hope” Initiative) is a sustainable social enterprise arm operating in Rwanda. The aim of the social enterprise is to create jobs, build up the knowledge base around healthy living, and to contribute to improving the lives of those living in poverty. Each project is uniquely designed to address health issues, job training opportunities, environmental impact, and continued education. Icyizere Initiative is shareholder-owned by Hope Shines, Inc. and operates also to sustainably offset expenses associated with operating child development and community programs.
Kiza Recycled Bathing Soap
Clean water, proper sanitation, and hygiene are some of the most important factors in keeping impoverished Rwandan families healthy. Unfortunately, hygiene is often overlooked as a public health intervention
- Collect gently used and discarded bars of soap that would otherwise be thrown away
- Sanitize, recycle, and repurpose the soap into new bars
- Distribute soap to schools and communities in the most need
- Pair soap distributions with hygiene education classes
- Watch healthy and productive communities prosper
Impact and Health Benefits
Health: Hand washing regularly with soap can reduce the rate of illness
Economic: We hire and empower local Rwandese women to recycle the soap, earning incomes for themselves and their families
Environmental: Rather than allowing non-biodegradable waste to flow into the trash heap, Kiz (meaning to save) addresses this issue and Rwanda’s severe hygiene problem.
Educational: Disrupting the absenteeism issue in schools by educating children on proper handwashing.
Chicken Coop Eggs
The chicken eggs project is a self-sufficiency project run and managed on-site right at the learning center in Kigali. This initiative was strategically added to the social enterprise because it provides food for the after-school meals program, new jobs for the parents, and income for the organization through the sale of eggs at market.
This ever-growing project currently provides a job for one of the parents of Hope Shines, which in turn further provides support deeper into the families we serve. The children also learn how to manage the project by ensuring the chickens have water and food. They love having the chickens on-site and because they are mostly free-range, the children get to interact with them almost as pets!