Bashiki Bacu Rwanda is Kinyarwanda for "Our Sisters in Rwanda".
Paige Lee has traveled to 20 countries in Africa and has been honored to photograph the beautiful people and stunning landscapes of this vast continent. During the explorations, she was thinking about how to contribute to a continent that she felt very connected to. Bashiki Bacu Rwanda was the result of the question she had been asking herself.
Bashiki Bacu Rwanda is a non-profit that assists underprivileged women in Rwanda, who have been affected by genocide and extreme poverty, take control of their lives by becoming entrepreneurs through microlending. The organization was founded by Paige Lee Baron-Schrier in 2020 after a trip to Rwanda. During her visit, she became impressed with the enterprising spirit of the country and the hearts of the people that had moved on from the difficult times of the genocide.
BBR helps women form a business plan and then lends them small loans (average is $50) with an agreed-upon payback period and zero interest. When the money is repaid other women in their village are able to take out a loan. Also, after a successful loan payback, the participants are able to apply for other loans in the future.
The loans are currently used for businesses such as agriculture, livestock, hairdresser, and seamstress. As of May 18, 2020, Bashiki Bacu Rwanda was given federal nonprofit status and determined to be a 501(c)(3) allowing donors to use their donation as a tax deduction. All donations go directly to the Bashiki Bacu Program in Rwanda.
10% of any sales of photographs taken in Rwanda will be donated to BBR. To learn more about the non-profit please visit www.BashikiBacu.org
Women Entrepreneurs of Bashiki Bacu Rwanda
Some places in this world have a way of calling you to them. Bhutan was one of the places for Paige Lee. Her journey there is beauitfuly photographed in her book, The Wisdom of Buddha. Several of the images featured in the book were taken at Sangchhen Dori Lhuendrup Nunnery. What Paige Lee learned during the nunnery visit led her to donate a percentage of the book sales to the Bhutan Nuns Foundation.
Many girls and women in Bhutan enter nunneries for short to long periods to gain an education and escape poverty and abuse. These women dedicate their lives to serving society. They are very involved in local communities, often helping needy families and serving as role models for other girls and women. Despite the great contribution nuns make to society, Bhutan’s twenty-one nunneries receive nearly no support. They often lack basic sanitation, sleeping and cooking quarters, trained teachers and learning materials.
The Bhutan Nuns Foundation provides a high leverage means of empowering and educating Bhutanese girls and women, improving the living conditions and economic vitality of rural villages, and preserving Bhutan’s strong, sustainable culture as it faces rapid economic development.
The goals of Bhutan Nuns Foundation include ensuring that each nunnery maintains adequate, healthy living conditions, provides a practical, useful education for girls and women, and achieves economic self-sufficiency. Because the nuns are such an important part of Bhutanese society, these efforts will enhance the economic vitality of local villages and help to preserve Bhutanese culture. Supporting nunneries as a means of enhancing larger society has the potential to be an important component of Gross National Happiness – Bhutan’s unique development and cultural preservation program.
To learn more about the Foundation please visit www.bhutannuns.org