Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Foxglove Project

Foxglove Project


Establishing self-sustaining local initiatives in partnership with Indigenous organisations in developing countries.

Foxglove's The Grassroots Rwanda program focuses on gathering women living in extreme poverty in rural southern Rwanda into small self-help groups of 20 to foster encouragement, friendship, training and micro-savings, enabling them to establish small business initiatives for themselves and their families.

2015 Pitch
Funds raised: $11,347

The Foxglove Project pitched self help training groups for Rwandan women at The Funding Network in Perth on 3 September 2015 With the funds received from the event, the project was able to establish 20 self help groups in Nyamagabe where local women receive training in literacy and numeracy, savings and loans, bookkeeping, agricultural practices and entrepreneurship and conflict resolution.  

The impact...

Gladys is a Rwandan wife and mother trying to raise 4 children (aged between 6 and 16 years) on her husband’s earnings as a farm labourer - a mere 300-500 RwF per day (about 60 to 80 cents AUD).  She is only 48 years old but life has not been easy and she feels hardship has aged her.

Fast forward to April 2016 and Gladys has joined a self help group implemented through The Foxglove Project.  In her own words, she now feels confident that '..being with other mothers in the group, we are going to have new ideas through facilitation and training, we are going to think what are we going to do as an income generating activity for life improvement...right now".

Coming together with her peers to learn home economics, develop good saving habits and improve living standards for oneself and family means that Gladys and other local women like her now look forward to setting aside enough for basic provisions that many of us take for granted – a balanced diet, adequate clothing and proper healthcare for their families, an education for their children.

The self help groups are a first for the province and to ensure community cohesion and supportive family dynamics, the local NGO has run 4 village meetings (2 per village) to educate and explain the contribution of women, with supplementary workshops for husbands and wives to inform and support relational harmony alongside this changing role of women in the local community. 

The 20 self help groups now established in this very poor province will reach 400 local women directly (exceeding the initial targets by 33%) and the Foxglove team estimates that the project's compounding reach to be at least five-hold as these wives and mothers bring key learnings back into their homes to share with their husbands and children.

For Gladys, her peers and their families, the economic and social education generated within the self help groups, combined with careful change management across the wider community, ensures that efforts made today to create positive role models and household habits can sustain and influence the generations that follow.


Read their Impact Report

Learn more about Foxglove Project.

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