Updated: Jun 8
Weekly updates- distribution of Home Care Kits
1.7 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide, with 118 cases in Rwanda to date, therefore in the past four weeks the government of Rwanda has restricted movement and visits outside of homes, except for health care, food purchases and banking to contain the pandemic; a very difficult decision for a country with an average family size of 4.9, and no possibility of savings due to several factors.
The situation could not be worse in Rwanda where the commemoration of the 1994 Tutsi genocide coincides with the foreclosure. Commemoration alone is not easy, it is literally a moment of memory and mourning.
The good news is that at Rwanda Rise, we play the role of helping communities to survive, we distribute door-to-door basic food and hygiene items to save the lives of our students and their families in this lockdown. To date, we have distributed 102 HOME CARE KITS to our network of widows and orphans living in extreme poverty.
This week, we have placed special emphasis on those who suffer the direct consequences of the genocide; Each house received rice, beans, sugar, cornmeal and cleaning supplies.
My job could no longer save us!
Thierry Uwimana, the barber
Thierry lost his father and two siblings during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. He survived with his mother and his young sister. They live in a house built specially for the survivors of the genocide who are the most vulnerable in Kigali.
Thierry graduated from Hope Vocational Training Center in 2018 and got a job as a barber in Kigali. With the COVID-19 lockdown his hair shop is closed and therefore he cannot make any money. "This is the worst commemoration period we have ever known," said Thierry's mother when we visited them at their home, telling us that it was not always easy to remember their lost ones. It is very hard to remember her two children murdered during the genocide. When we got there, the family had no food. They were happy that with the donation of food and sanitation supplies. They said, “now we will be managing one evil at a time.”.
I feel like I am dreaming!
Jeanette, 25, lives with her mother and three young sisters, she graduated from ERM-Hope vocational training center the class of 2019, she got a job as a tailor in a garment factory but she could get very sick often and she was laid off before getting a contract.
Janette's father was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2007, he was convicted of genocide crimes; her mother was the one who worked for the family, but she broke her back in 2013, Jeanette was therefore unable to continue her studies because she could no longer afford to pay the school fees.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeanette’s younger sister in the photo above was doing work to provide food for the family, such as a construction helper or cultivating other people's land for money. But she does not touch any more money and the family suffers from a serious hunger; Speaking with Jeanette Today, she said they had a good meal three weeks ago before Corona, she said. She fell into tears and said that the Lord had done a great job. Jeanette told me that last night, her little sisters told her mother that they missed rice so much and that the donation of food was a miracle happening! her mother was dancing when she saw the food.
I asked her what she would say to anyone who had given her food, she replied: "I need to sit down and calm down first, I always have the impression of dreaming". We left them in joy and we continued on our way.
Now I know: God loves us so dearly!
Denise is a single mother raising three little girls without anyone's help. Normally, she works in the market helping other sellers to deliver or transport products from one place to another. It is very difficult, but she manages to get food from the market and feed three girls and pay rent.
Because of the confinement measures, she can no longer go to the market and the only other way to earn an income is to cultivate the farms of others. The day we visited them, she had gotten a cultivation job, but the salary obtained could not provide enough food, even for a single day
She and the girls were very happy for the food donation and the hygiene products. They did not stop laughing. She told us when we were about to leave that it was a confirmation for her that God knew them personally and loved his family so much!
You have just saved my family!
My name is Habimana François-Xavier, and I was born in 1992, my father died when I was four months old and that's when it all started; the hardships, my mother did her best to take care of me and my sister but she could not provide for all of the basic needs of our family.
In 2001, my sister had a mental illness due to the difficulties we were going through and my mother followed a year later, I was nine years old and I was the only one who could take care of the family, luckily they been admitted to a mental hospital in Kigali and I was left alone to wander the roads to survive, I could not find a job, but I have tried to work for food since then, I could go at school only a few days a week and on other days I work for food, I worked as a load lifter helping customers to transport their products from the market to their homes; because i was not old enough to work i was taken to a children's center for 12 months and after leaving there i joined high school in 2013 but life was not always that easy, i had to drop out of school again to be able to work to find food for myself and my family.
In 2018, I thought about continuing my studies, that's when I connected to ERM-HOPE TVET, I did welding and I got my diploma in the promotion of 2018, I got a job right after and life got easier, I had a welder's income and I was doing some electrician work, I started building my own house next to the family house. but now with the COVID-19 lockdown, I cannot work and because I am paid daily and my family's situation, so we ran out of food. I am very grateful to ERM-HOPE TVET, not only have you given me the skills that have brought me so far but you have just saved my mother, my sister who are still sick and myself from hunger. May God bless you abundantly.