This article appeared in PM Network, a monthly publication for the global membership of the Project Management Institute (PMI). Below is an excerpt of the article. Click the link to read the full article.
A Healing Place
Creative problem-solving gives Rwandan women a new vocation and a new center for community life.
For a group of women in Rwanda, brickmaking is more than just an industrial skill. It’s a way to help build a much-needed community center—and give themselves a chance at a brighter future.
While the bricks are an essential component to building the new structure, 30 women, chosen for their exceptional brickmaking skills, are at the heart of the project to build the Women’s Opportunity Center (WOC) in the town of Kayonza in eastern Rwanda. The WOC, spearheaded by Women for Women International, a Washington, D.C., USA-based not-for-profit, will provide economic and social education for the town’s women, many of whom are survivors of the country’s 1994 genocide.
“Women are at the forefront of the culture shift happening in Rwanda, and an integral part of the country’s efforts to rebuild and prosper,” says Karen Sherman, Women for Women’s executive director of global programming. “The WOC is an extension of the country’s commitment to help women become leaders for social and economic change.”
But managing the US$1.2 million project in a remote, rural area brings not only cultural implications, but also a steep a learning curve regarding construction, cost and availability of materials, governmental regulations and the local marketplace.