Birambye Lodge - Mugonero, Rwanda
"Birambye" is Kinyarwandan for "Sustainability"
A new model:
Birambye Lodge is a true social business in that all the profits will be funneled into the L’Esperance Orphanage for the care and education of the children.
With the traditional orphanage funding model, funds, social welfare, and ecology deplete after the initial investment. To sustain, the orphanage must rely on unpredictable charitable giving. Birambye Lodge will use the Triple Bottom Line approach where return on investment includes Environmental, Economic, and Equitable measures of impact for sustainable practices to become a part of the greater community of Mugonero and into the greater continent.
Birambye Lodge will sit on the shore of beautiful Lake Kivu in western Rwanda. Profits will be directed into the community, primarily to the L’Esperance Orphanage that is located nearby. Birambye Lodge will establish a hub in the Mugonero community by creating cultural awareness, natural resource conservation and economic vitality.
Sustainable technology: The Birambye Lodge is pursuing sustainable technologies that help solve energy and water problems in the region. The technologies to be employed at the Birambye Lodge provide off-grid power and sanitation and also contribute to making it the first LEED-Platinum structure in Africa. It will also provide social enterprise for local contractors.
Sustainable income: Like many non-profits, L’Esperance Orphanage relies heavily on the charitable giving of others to serve the children. The Birambye Lodge will provide a continuous income stream to the orphanage, designated for the health care and education of the children.
Sustainable support: The Birambye Lodge will help support L’Esperance. It will impact the surrounding community through job generation, tourist spending and increased demand for local agricultural products.
The orphanage was founded in Rwanda in 1994 following the Rwanda genocide that devastated this small country. Founded and originally named Children’s Village Kigarama, the orphanage has been running here on nearly 10 hectares (almost 25 acres) of fertile land. Within the complex, there are six houses to support 130 orphans.
Located in the heart of Africa is the land of a thousand hills, an appropriate name given to the gorgeous rolling landscape of Rwanda. This small country once known primarily for its mountain gorilla population, gained further reputation following the genocide of 1994 that killed nearly 1 million people in only three months. The wounds of the tragedy are still deep and present today within the Rwandan population.
The Children’s Village Kigarama has the goal and capacity to care and accommodate for 130 orphans. They supply within their means, the basic needs of the children including food, clothing, shelter and education. The goal is to provide a good, harmonic environment for the intellectual, spiritual, social and physical growth of all the children.