A New Website for Foundation Rwanda

POSTED BY Zak Menkel on Jun 7, 2011

We recently designed and launched a new site for Foundation Rwanda (www.foundationrwanda.org), an organization that supports women and families who were victims of rape during the Rwandan genocide by providing education for their children and access to much-needed social services. Even 17 years later, the legacy of the genocide still reverberates through the culture in the form of psychological trauma, stigmatization and financial struggle. But there is no gloom and doom here; Foundation Rwanda helps show us the vibrant culture, the caring communities, the loving families that have grown in the wake of that tragedy. This is tough and important work, and Jules and Jonathan, along with a small team and some great partners do so many incredible things on behalf of these families.

It feels good to do good. We were really happy to be able to support the great work Foundation Rwanda does with our time and expertise. The needs of a not-for-profit organization are very different than those of most of our clients, but also surprisingly similar: they need to generate revenue (donations); they need outreach and communication tools that don’t require a huge investment in administration, and they need a site that will grow and scale with their organization.

Simple and easy donation process.

Interactive storytelling and flexible communication/outreach tools.

This organization was founded on the heels of a documentary film and photojournalism piece, and the beautiful imagery and media are a vital part of the organization’s culture.

The biggest challenge that we (and Foundation Rwanda) faced with the website was actually an operational one. They are growing so fast, and they are doing so many different things around the world, all with a shoestring staff, and they need a site that can keep up with them. We made the decision early on to sacrifice some control (difficult for a bunch of pixel pokers) to offer more flexibility. As such, the real power of the site is behind the scenes. We pride ourselves on being technology agnostic – on picking the right tool for the right job. We opted to build the site on Dot Net Nuke, an open source platform that allows Foundation Rwanda an unprecedented amount of control and flexibility moving forward. The entire site is modular, so they can add pages, edit content, add modules, even embed applications and widgets on existing pages, and the entire platform is supported by a thriving open source community. The result is a site that can be easily managed by a small admin team and a platform that can grow with the organization.

Keep an eye out for Foundation Rwanda (www.foundationrwanda.org) as they continue to grow, and please read the stories these women have to tell, and consider supporting the great work this foundation does.


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