Alexandre Dauge-Roth

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Alexandre Dauge-Roth

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You're a part of our "Isano"

A word from the founder and CEO of IWE, Elise Rida Musomandera:

IWE stands for Isano Women and Youth Empowerment. Iwe is a word in kinyarwanda meaning "at home" or "my home" and Isano is like a bond that people share. In this sense the women who work here, myself included, share the bond of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and this workshop is not for me. It is everyones home.

IWE’s mission is to make orphans and widows of the 1994 genocide more self-supporting and to achieve sustainable development within this community. By providing a gateway for financial independence, a positive work environment, and a safe haven for these women, they absorb artisanal skills that can help them now and later on.

IWE's vision for the future is to continue this workshop to be able to provide a monetary income for these women. This workshop will continue to be a place to empower traumatized widows and orphans and I wish to give them joy through this project and to restore their hope in living and what life can be.

Since I became an orphan at an early age, the great thing that had affected me a lot is hunger. Today I fight for a secure future, a future where people do not go to bed hungry. Looking back on the genocide, I find it miraculous that I could dream of a better future when the world around me was so grim and I was scavenging for food.

Despite my hardships, I did not give up. For me, this project is an act of gratitude to those who helped me and it also represents the Isano that is between these women and I. I cannot forget these people since we lived the same life and faced the same hardships, but not have the same opportunities.

This project will help these women and young people to have a secure future so they know where their next meal is coming from, a feeling I lived without for quite some time. I know that these people do not dare to dream big—this project will help them do so.

When I left the university and had financial means, I never thought of myself things I didn't need. The luxury that came with my original store was that I could now give back to my community and change the lives of others. I know their pain and their struggle and we must help each other.

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