• Kenneth Jordan

Paint Up the Town

In a village where most farm to survive, a savings group who call themselves “The Good Shepherds” have created a unique business that is not only opening up opportunities for jobs and incomes, but is literally brightening up the town.

In Byumba, tucked between the rolling hills of the northern province of Rwanda, having a painted home is a luxury; only the richest of the area have colorful walls and fences.  Together this savings group which is facilitated by HOPE International as a ministry of the local church, has adapted an old recipe of cassava flour, ground chalk, condensed food coloring, and alcohol to create a reliable and affordable homemade paint.

The group is now able to make two colors: blue and yellow. Each of the 11 members have a role in the process; some create the paint, others manage the finances, and some paint the homes once the product is sold. Together the group meets twice a month to hold business meetings, cook, and prepare the paint.

This business is quite the innovation for the small village of Byumba. Because of the group's success, each member is now thriving with a consistent income, purpose, and goals for their future. The paint business brings new found dignity to Byumba, making a colorful home no longer a luxury for only the wealthy.

© 2019 by Kenneth Jordan Burkey