We are in uncharted waters. COVID-19 is now present in nearly every country in the world. It has taken thousands of lives and now threatens millions of livelihoods. And it will require bold individual and collective actions to defeat.
Everyday chores, like buying food, present a challenge, and even the near future is filled with unknowns. This is life in the middle of a pandemic.
Amidst this crisis, we continue working with our families in Rwanda while they are presently in a country-wide shut down. On March 12th we provided money for all our families to purchase thermometers, hand soap and sanitizer. We wanted to act quickly before supplies started to dwindle as there were no cases in their country. Yet now as their confirmed cases rises daily, the government has set strict standards for all citizens to stay home, businesses are closed, schools are closed, flights are cancelled in and out of Rwanda and fines will be placed on those who don’t obey the orders.
This has placed a hardship on all Rwanda’s citizens, most of whom live in poverty and now have no ability to earn income at all. As founder, I had to postpone my April trip to Rwanda. This trip is vital to our mission for both social encouragement and implementation of furthering their work goals. With the trip postponed, we will continue our support and guidance as our families wait out the pandemic. Our focus in this time is to provide any medical needs to help them, and we will continue to fund the school fees as soon as the children return to school. Although all the children in our education program are home during the stay at home order, they will return to their studies after the crisis passes.
Above is Guillene, the newest child to be accepted into our education program. I have known her and her mum since 2015. The family has fallen on hard times as both parents cannot find work. Guillene is a very bright young girl with very good marks. Her mom, Micheline, is an accomplished seamstress and we hire her each year to sew products for the Umva project. Micheline received a grant to attend tourism school in Kigali and we are helping with her weekly transportation fees this year until she graduates. Unfortunately, the school is closed during the pandemic and running the course online. Micheline does not own a computer. She is missing the online studies and falling behind. We are trying to find a way to help with this issue.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your continued support, even in this time of financial uncertainty. Both one time and recurring monthly donations are so vital for keeping the wheels of progress turning for our mission! Together we are bringing hope, stability and peace to Rwandan families who truly have no other options.