In Kinyarwanda turikumwe means we are together. This phrase serves as GHI’s motto because, at Gardens for Health, we are more than an organization. We are a community. We are a family.
At Gardens for Health, the value of Turi Kumwe manifests itself in the form of the Turi Kumwe Fund. The Turi Kumwe fund was initiated in 2011 by GHI employees who recognized that, while our intervention is designed to provide comprehensive and holistic solutions to malnutrition, vulnerable families will often struggle with challenges beyond what GHI’s core program is able to mitigate. In order to provide support beyond what seeds an education can bring, field staff instituted the Turi Kumwe fund, an entirely staff-funded, managed, and implemented endeavor. The fund would identify families struggling with severe and urgent threats to their health and wellbeing, and leverage the staff’s own resources to provide temporary, emergency support.
We know that if families are struggling with issues external to our program, like housing or other medical conditions, they will not be able to focus on proper nutrition. We have helped families access medical insurance, rebuild destroyed houses, access care for complex medical conditions, and more.
In 2017, our Turi Kumwe Committee impacted the lives of 320 families through financial support and advocacy. With an average investment of less than $10 per case, we were able to help families weather some of the most significant shocks that they face in life.