The Managing-Director Jesse Routte with some of the staff members at Three Stones conducting a phone survey of over 1000 small and medium sized businesses in Rwanda on behalf or Harvard University and Rwanda Revenue Authority. (All pics by Joseph Mudingu)
Three Stones Consulting Ltd is a locally registered (Kigali, Rwanda) consulting firm that offers professional consultancy services to NGOs, CSOs and government entities. The New Times’ JOSEPH MUDINGU had a one-on-one with the Managing-Director JESSE ROUTTE about the history of the firm and its impact in Rwanda.
QN: How did you come up with the idea of starting a consultation firm in Rwanda?
A: It all started in 2012. Basically I was working on my thesis and became intrigued about Rwanda and it’s transformation, which was very exciting. I discovered that there was a lot going on in Rwanda and many different NGOs were trying to reach out to many vulnerable people. At the time, I felt that there is something I can do to help them to effectively reach their beneficiaries. So I started a consultation firm and named it Three Stones. Basically Three Stones Ltd provides the leaders of organIzations with professional services that assist in the development of their organization. Our services include: research and evaluation, strategic planning, capacity building, M&E support and logistics.
QN: Why did you choose to name your company Three Stones?
A: The idea of “Amasiga” is a concept of a simple cooking stove reminds us of the people the NGO’s are trying to reach. The stove consists of a set of three stones, arranged to support a pot above the flames of a crackling fire. Each of the stones represents an important pillar in making the meal a success – if you don’t have three stones, you can’t eat. Drawing inspiration from this tradition, Three Stones Consulting Ltd provides grassroots organizations with the support and spark what they need to realize their full potential
Govt to conduct thorough audit of all public land
The Ministry of Lands and Forestry will soon embark on an exercise to register all public land and secure respective land titles following a recommendation by the parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and Fight against Genocide.
While appearing before the committee to clarify cases of land disputes between government and citizens in Nyaruguru District in Southern Province on Thursday, the Minister for Land and Forestry, Francine Tumushime, said that there are several pieces of public land which have been grabbed by citizens, and these need to be reclaimed.
“While individuals are always ready to have their land registered and acquire titles, local authorities have been somehow reluctant in having public land in their jurisdictions registered and this has seen chunks of public land grabbed by those in the vicinity,” she told the legislators.
Tumushime told the committee that some people have grabbed the land, craftily had it registered to their names and went on to build houses or plant trees on it.
“Government is spending large sums of money on expropriation which in some cases wouldn’t be necessary if the government had its own land that would even be used to compensate those that have been expropriated in the interest of the public,” she said.
The committee recommended that government makes a comprehensive audit of all public land in the country and secure the title deeds.
The committee chair, Francois Byabarumwanzi, observed that when land is not registered, it becomes vulnerable to grabbers, which he said may eventually lead to communal conflict.
“Let all public land be mapped out from citizens’ land so that those that may want to use it for production can lease it well knowing that it does not belong to them,” said Byabarumwanzi.
Tumushime promised to dispatch teams to work with districts where land disputes are rampant, especially in Nyagatare and Nyaruguru districts.
She added that districts are to take full charge of the mapping of all public land in their jurisdictions and have all of it registered
QN: What exactly does Three Stones Consulting Ltd do and how has it been beneficial to Rwandans since its inception?
A: Three Stones provides the leaders of organizations with professional services that assist in the development of their organizations. Our interactions with NGO’s has helped them in being efficient in what they do which has profited Rwandans as they are the beneficiaries. Three Stones’ work covers a variety of sectors including health, education, agriculture, poverty reduction, WASH, markets and value chains, microfinance, and livelihoods. We develop strategies through consulting and assessing options for the design and development of robust contextualized programs for NGOs including strategic planning, business plans, curriculum development, policy advocacy. We also do capacity development through an ongoing process of staff training, team building and leadership development plus evaluation and Social Research by assessing the impact of a program, and extracting results.
QN: What has made you successful here in Rwanda and what exactly do you do differently from others?
A: I think it’s because of our strong values and our dedicated staff. Three Stones values strong relationships developed over time through long-term partnerships with various NGOs and prioritises the input of beneficiaries and utilizing local knowledge and resources to create long lasting sustainable solutions. At Three Stones, we create and nurture connections at the grassroots level and our networking with larger organizations is also the source of our success. Additionally, we act as the connection between larger organizations and foundations and the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that work directly with the community. Through a responsive bottom-up approach Three Stones values grassroots organizations and their commitment to affecting change at all societal levels plus the innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship of our staff which provides creative solutions.
QN: What can you say are the company’s milestones?
A: We have grown over the years and expanded our reach and the services we offer because we wanted to better serve our regional partners, we have recently established an international firm in America called Three Stones International, which is a big achievement.
WHAT OTHER CONSULTANTS SAY
Anita Umuhoza – Coordinator
I have worked with Three Stones since 2016. It is good to see that we are helping to change lives. Also the training that we have so far acquired has turned us into very skilled personnel in different areas of research that we do.
Olivier Akizimana – Coordinator
For the last three years, we have worked on many projects for various NGOs. At Three Stones, we are like a learning institution. We are encouraged to be innovative and to develop skills that help us in doing our work in a professional way which has built a strong and good image as a company.
Aphro Ndagijimana – Program Manager
It is professionally rewarding working at Three Stones and I have gained a lot of skills plus exposure. I started down the ladders but today am among the senior managers. Because of the work that we do well for NGOs, we have been recommended by them to other institutions. We’ve traveled to countries far from Rwanda like Burkina Faso and Ghana professional services