Kirehe, Rwanda – On a sunny morning in October, Christine Umuhoza stood outside her brick house chatting with a neighbour – a young mother holding her infant by the hips. For most women in this small village of fewer than 200 people in Rwanda’s eastern province, Umuhoza is both neighbour and maternal guide.
Dressed in a long brown skirt, black polka-dotted top, and a printed scarf tied to her neck, she was fresh and chirpy for a long day of work. Beyond the banana plants that surround her house, scatterings of mud and brick buildings – some with accompanying sheds for livestock – peppered the landscape of unpaved red clay roads in the traditional farming community.
Umuhoza used to be a subsistence farmer. But for