World Dance for Humanity, Inc.
Bridges cultures through movement and helps people in need by supporting small, sustainable, grassroots projects locally and in the developing world, specifically Rwanda.
20+ years P&G experience in Manufacturing & Product Supply, North America (Long Beach, New York, Cincinnati with global responsibilities)
Betsy currently serves as the VP of the World Dance for Humanity (WD4H) Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Business Committee. Betsy implemented a business planning and results tracking system that successfully guided the first four co-op businesses in Rwanda into profitability and will be applied across all 25 cooperatives. The thousands of individuals in these profitable co-ops are now much closer to financial independence. Betsy also sponsors three high school Rwandan students, one of whom just began her first year of college.
WD4H’s goal is to establish a thriving and sustainable business in each of their 20 rural Rwandan cooperatives. Serving nearly 8,000 impoverished genocide survivors and their families, these Co-ops will raise their standard of living and give members a chance to develop their skills and participate in a successful enterprise. WD4H serves primarily women many of whom are poor farmers, unwed mothers, former sex workers and/or AIDS patients.
“The return on our donors’ investments I seen in the daily progress of courageous communities. Passion and brains come together to enhance lives, support families and ensure futures – one step at a time.” Debra Geiger, WD4H Board President.
To date, WD4H has helped its co-ops establish successful businesses like a bakery, sewing, a café and a tilapia fish farm. Several of its other cooperatives are in various stages of developing their own businesses. Working closely with the Program Director and WD4H staff, they research and plan projects to benefit the communities. After plans are vetted with the Board of Directors, funding is sought and once businesses are underway, they are monitored closely to ensure success. Training is also provided (e.g., agriculture, business, leadership) which has had a large and positive impact in the way the co-operative members approach their work and their lives and how they plan for the future.
Funding from the 2016 Grant Award of $14,600 will be used to hire a business coordinator to develop business skills among the co-ops, conduct a 3-day business training for three (3) representatives from each of the 20 cooperatives focusing on management, leadership & basic business skills, and provide small business support for three cooperatives toward sustainable profitability (example: upgrade one co-ops brick-making machine to improve production in the Ventilation Brick business).
From Destitution to Dignity
Joselyne was destitute, homeless and abandoned by her husband and the father of her two young sons. She joined a community of unwed mothers and widows who, like Joselyne, had once been outcasts struggling to survive. WD4H bought a parcel of farmland for the Twirererabana community to expand their farming enterprise and the co-op voted to give a small house to Joselyne. She is now able to support herself and her family by contributing and working collaboratively to produce food and share in the crop yields. She also works for and shares in the income from “Dignity Café,” the co-op’s business.