Rwanda is a small landlocked country in East Africa. The population is rural and young; approximately 43% are under age 15. 39% of the population live below the poverty line and 16% live in extreme poverty. The communities included in this project share common difficulties; poor access to infrastructure, schools, and healthcare and low household income. Spark’s village strengthening process combines capacity building with a microgrant of $8,000.00. No interest or repayment of the funds is requested.
Spark’s facilitated funding approach is a streamlined replicable method for strengthening the foundations of a community. There are six key phases in the Spark approach where community members envision their future together, plan towards that future and develop tangible goals to achieve their vision. They are provided with a grant to make their vision a reality.
Spark's approach begins with the recruitment of a local university graduate who is enrolled in a facilitator fellowship program. Over the course of two years, facilitators take communities through the Spark approach:
Since 2016, World Centric has funded 21 communities to participate in the Spark process. This years' funding supports 8 communities based in the Gakenke District (Kabutwa, Kinyababa, Rusumo, Rwata, Bugogo, Kidomo, Rugeshi, and Rutagara) and 3 in the Rulindo District where our communities were all based last year (Mutara, Rebero, and Shyamba).
6,700 individuals from 1,650 households benefit from a community-driven project and microloan.
250% increase in households participating in savings groups.
83% increase in households that own animals
87% of communities launch secondary projects independent of Spark
Increased household income, leading to ability to pay for healthcare, cover school fees, and better household construction.
Increase in community members advocating to government entities for additional resources
About Spark Microgrants
A World Centric partner since 2016.
Spark Microgrants was founded in 2010 to prove community-driven development can be done at scale. Spark has designed a novel approach for launching communities facing poverty into action and has partnered with over 220 villages across Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ghana. Of the village projects backed by Spark, 94 percent are sustaining, 77 percent have launched secondary projects independently of Spark and 90 percent have continued to host regular community meetings where they discuss important topics, such as land disputes and new initiatives. These metrics indicate Spark partner communities graduate from the process with a commitment to continued local change.