|   Posted: February 01, 2024

Twins Aime and Aimable rarely had enough to eat. Then their church used a gift from their sponsor to give their family a living income source.

This Amazing Success Story Begins with 2 Pigs

Twins Aime and Aimable rarely had enough to eat. Then their church used a gift from their sponsor to give their family a living income source.

Story and Photos by Doreen Umutesi
Twins smile as they pet a pig

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. For 7-year-old twins Aimable and Aime in Rwanda, two little pigs changed everything.

The twins live in poverty with their parents and two older sisters. Their father found what work he could, helping on farms in their rural community. With his meager earnings, the family barely could afford one meal a day.

"We couldn’t afford to meet most of our basic needs from the little income that my husband made from digging gardens for other people," says the twins' mother, Dancille. "Since we have four children, life was hard."

Their situation began to improve when the twins’ sponsor, Emily in Oklahoma, sent a family gift. Their Compassion center staff used the money to buy two piglets for Aimable and Aime’s family. The staff trained them in how to care for the pigs and how to use them to earn money.

"We were trained to save, take advantage of what we have and spend responsibly," says Dancille.

Without training, Dancille says the family would have been unsure of what to do with the piglets because they had never raised an animal before. With training from the center staff, they learned how to properly feed and care for the piglets, which soon grew and became a source of income for the family.

Twins stand in front of pig and smile at camera

"We were lucky that piglets fed on anything, so getting food for them was not hard," Dancille says.

Five months later, the female pig gave birth to five piglets. "We sold three and took care of the two female piglets, and this is how we continued to earn an income," explains Dancille.

The pigs continued to have babies, which the family sold for the equivalent of about $50 each — a significant amount in a country where the typical annual income is $2,200. As the family’s income grew, they bought more livestock, including a cow, sheep and more pigs. The cow provided nutritious milk, as well as manure for gardening.

Twins hold grass while standing by cow

Before long, Aime and Aimable’s family was earning enough to buy their own plot of farmland. They started growing food and are now one of the few producers of Irish potatoes in their community.

No longer dependent on working other people’s land for scant wages, the twins' father can grow his own food to nourish his family or sell for income. And all this success began because of one gift.

"We did not imagine that we would have so much support from the sponsor of my twins, but we thank God, and we are grateful to the sponsor," says Dancille.

Rosalie, director of the twins' Compassion center, says family gifts provide people with essential resources including animals, education and health care, giving them the tools to overcome poverty and build a better future.

"I have noticed that there has been a remarkable increase in the standard of living of the families that benefited from gifts in our community," says Rosalie.

Twins hold letters and smile

Aime, left, and Aimable read letters from their sponsor


"Gifts not only help families in need but also serve as a bridge to connect sponsors with the people they are helping and ensure that the gifts are culturally appropriate, sustainable and empowering."

The family’s gratitude for all they have received inspired them to give back. They now volunteer time and give resources to their community members with the most need. Their success has inspired others in their village to start their own livestock businesses.

Twins and their family in front of flowers and stone background

"One gift can change a life," Rosalie says, "and one life can change the world."

Give a Gift, Change Lives

Girls hold piglets and look into the camera

Log into your My Account to send a family gift to the child you sponsor.

Girls hold piglets and look into the camera