Berancille was eighteen when the outbreak of the Rwandan genocide forced her to flee to a refugee camp in Tanzania.

Life as a single woman in the camp was not easy.  She lived in constant fear of being raped.  She wanted a better life.  She wanted someone to protect her.  When she fell in love it was an easy decision to get married, even though she was only nineteen.

After the genocide, she and her husband returned to Rwanda and settled down.

Her troubles were not at an end.

She was nine months pregnant with her first child when her husband was arrested and sent to jail.  It was difficult to give birth alone, to take care of herself and her child, and to bring food to her husband in prison.  It was ten long years before he was finally released, but she loved him so much that she waited for him.

After his release, they had six more children.

They supported their family by growing cabbage, carrots and onions in a small plot by their house, but it wasn’t always enough, especially during the dry season.

ADRA began working in Berancille’s community to improve the health of mothers and children under five by teaching families to grow vegetables, how to improve their nutrition, and how to prevent illness.

Now Berancille can grow food for her family all year round.  She knows how her garden should be set up and which plants can grow together.  She was taught techniques that help her garden to keep water during the dry season and was given drought-resistant seeds.   She learned how to compost and how to make organic pesticides.  She learned how to cook healthy, balanced, and nutritious meals.

“Even now if I want to cook, I just go to my garden to get what I want. Before there were no veggies. But now we have food and veggies enough. To run to the garden and to cook the veggies is very easy. I have carrots, cabbage, beets, sweet peas, onions, spinach, dodo, amaranth, pepper, celery, and more…If I take my kids to the weigh scale, my children are always gaining kilos because I know how to feed them well.

Berancille is not content with growing food for her own family.  She wants everyone in her community to grow enough food for their families.  She invites others to her house, shows them the new techniques that she has learned, and shares her seeds with them.  She glows with pride at now being a teacher.

“Thank the people of Canada who brought this project. This project has been wonderful for us. It has taught us how to eat veggies and to plant them and teach us a lot…this project helps the neediest.”

The PROMISE project is a partnership between ADRA Canada, ADRA Rwanda, the Government of Canada, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, and Emmanuel International.