Nyamirambo Women’s Centre in Kigali

August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Nyamirambo Women’s Center is a not for profit organization aimed at empowering women at the same time promoting community based tourism in the Nyamirambo neighborhood located on the outskirts of Kigali Rwanda’s capital city. Founded in 2007 by 18 women who came together to raise their voices against gender based violence, gender inequality and discrimination they were facing at the time, though by 2007 Rwanda’s parliament had representations by females which was the highest in the world at 48.75%. Today the country has a female representation of 61.25% which is still the highest in the world and credit is to efforts contributed by the Nyamirambo Women's Center. 

During the horrific 1994 genocide that claimed over 800,000 lives, 70% of these were female, therefore a great number of the heart of the home who are also known as “umutima wa murugo” in Kinyarwanda meaning the women who were lost.  

The women's center has focused on women led businesses such as the “Umutima '' project established in 2013, the project mostly includes vocational training that teaches women in the community different skills such as tailoring and craft making. The participants have been able to make clothing from Kitenge fabric, home décor items and jewelry accessories made from other items like banana leaves and sisal fiber, palm leaves and recycled plastics. The products made under this project have the brand name Umutima and all profits made from the sales are given back to the community, used to fund the different organization activities and also members are able to earn a wage.

The Nyamirambo Women’s Center also promotes the reading culture which saw the establishment of a community library in 2014, it has books written in Kinyarwanda, English and French for all age groups, and this encourages the community members to have a reading culture. Other trainings conducted at the center are computer literacy training, English where people are taught how to read and write at a free cost. The organization also organizes workshops on women’s rights and gender equality, mental health and nutrition.

The center was turned into a tourism site and visitors are offered different activities such as a guided tour of the center done by the members of the Umutima cooperative, they are shown where the trainings are carried out, get to learn how to grind cassava, and also a tour of the different facilities such as the two mosques for the muslim faith. Tourists are also offered opportunities to take part in any of the training like cooking classes, basket weaving classes at a cost. All this is carried out at $15 and extra $3 for lunch per person.

Tours are offered all year round excluding public holidays, so you might have to first research when public holidays are celebrated in Rwanda. You don’t need to pack much when going to the center, you can carry a light jacket and wear comfortable shoes like sneakers since you do a lot of moving around and the area has a hilly terrain.

The projects at the center are the “Umutima” project, a community library, free English and computer literacy classes and the tourism program where tourists are able to explore and learn about the different activities at the center.

A tour around Nyamirambo Women’s Center is a unique experience that depicts how women are supporting each other by being resilient and creative as they use the resources they have to create beautiful products, it offers a different perspective of life away from the history and nature Rwanda offers.

Whenever you participate in the tour in the center, you are making a great contribution to supporting the women and children in the community.

The center has taken over the social responsibility of caring for the community and as a reward it has received donations and support from various big organizations like the European Union, Peace institute and the Slovenian Ministry. It has also received awards such as the 2018 Responsible Tourism Award for Best Community initiative 

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