One amazing little store in Rwanda, full of potential, made possible with the help of many friends of African Road!
While we affectionately dubbed this effort ‘The Corner Store’, Providance selected the name (drum roll…) Boutique Murisanga, which means ‘The Welcome Store’. We love it!
‘The Welcome Store’ start-up costs were funded by you, friends of African Road, to help Steven and Providance Turikunkiko have a way to meet their own needs for ongoing food, medical, clothing and household expenses for their special and large family in the House of Bright Hope. You may recall that the House of Bright Hope is made up of the Turikunkiko family, their three children, the 14 orphans who they love and care for, as well as a steady stream of women and children in need of safe shelter.
Picture yourself walking up the steps to ‘The Welcome Store’…
and being welcomed by store owner and operator Providance as she beams with pride. You are surrounded by colorful bags, overflowing with rice and beans and flour. Hot tea is brewing. A fresh breeze is coming through the open door, and a friendly shop assistant stands to greet you.
The store is located just five minutes walk from the House of Bright Hope. Providance works six days a week at the store. She is joined by Immaculate, a young woman who is part of the House of Bright Hope family. Providance has repeated many times how sincerely grateful she is for the generous support that made this dream come to life. She’s talking to you!
In the three months that ‘Welcome’ has been open, rice, beans, corn flour, oil, and water have been some of the top sellers. Just for fun, Providance set up a table on the front porch and started selling hot tea and mandazis (the East African equivalent to donuts). With no other teashop nearby, ‘Welcome’ has become a favorite spot for neighbors and local business owners to stop in for a chat or refreshment. In fact, on some days, the tea and mandazi sales match those of the shop altogether!
‘The Welcome Store’ is an exciting reminder of what we do:
African Road equips our partners to meet their own needs so they are empowered to stand on their own. Your combined efforts to bring ‘The Welcome Store’ into being have equipped and empowered the Turikunkikos – true African Road Changemakers — to keep meeting needs and doing the work they have given their life to.
Murakoze Cyane friends! (Thank you so much!)
~ Kelly Bean
African Road Executive Director