Grassroots Rwanda - women eliminating poverty

What is Grassroots Rwanda?

Grassroots Rwanda is a programme to create self-help groups in rural Rwanda. This site tells the stories of six women from two villages entering a self-help group for the first time, and the changes in their lives over the next two years.

The project of documenting these stories started in October, 2016. Through the photographs and words here I want to show how these women - representative of tens of thousands of women living difficult lives in rural Rwanda - transform their own lives and the lives of their families and communities.

Each woman is unique and their stories chart their unique encounters with the self-help groups. Some are quick to flourish, some are working from further behind and need to build relationships first. 

This aims to raise awareness of self-help groups as an effective and cheap approach to alleviating poverty in some circumstances. I am collaborating with The Foxglove Project who fund the Grassroots Rwanda self-help group programme, and AEE Rwanda, the local NGO implementing the groups. If you want to help either of these organisations, please click through to their web pages. If you are interested in helping with this project, please click here.


Thank you for visiting. I hope you find these evolving stories as exciting and inspiring as I do.


Geoff Bartlett

Women of Kasebuturanyi

(click the photo through to each story)


A future without worry...


Building relationships...


Straight to business...

Women of Gakomeye

(click the photo through to each story)


A new baby...

Claudine & Marcelline



Stable health...

What next...?

I have visited the women on these pages twice, first in October 2016, and then again in September 2017 after they had been in the groups for almost one year. Some women had leapt ahead, others were taking longer to find their feet.

I plan to visit again in the latter half of 2018.

To follow their stories, subscribe or send me a message through the Contact page.