Aug 5, 2020

Food Relief Brings Joy

Dancing for Hunger Relief
Dancing for Hunger Relief

The situation in the communities of Cyauzinge and Masoro, Rwanda was difficult because Covid-related public health restrictions forced people to stay at home.  They could not work, and without work, they could not feed their families.

Because of this challenge, the food relief that we provided by this project brought great joy to many hungry families.

As the Covid restrictions continued, it was clear that the neediest families would need more help.  We worked with community leaders to identify families that were most vulnerable. We ensured that they received food and water during this time.

Also, we found that our efforts to support the community attracted the attention of the local government and helped to cement our relationship as a trusted partner with them in community development. We collaborated with our sponor NGO in Rwanda, and that enabled the provision of direct cash donations to the families in addition to extra rice and suger from supporters in the European Union.

So, in summary, this project has helped many families and children, and has furthered our friendship with local government and the EEU, thereby allowing hundreds of people to benefit from your generous donations, for which we say, "Thank you very, very much!". 

Social Distancing in Rwanda
Social Distancing in Rwanda
Food Delivery July 2020
Food Delivery July 2020
Jul 6, 2020

Covid-19 Offers New Opportunity for Collaboration

Mr. Yuya's site plan sketch of ECD Center
Mr. Yuya's site plan sketch of ECD Center

We thank the donors who have contributed towards this project so far! We have made good progress, and there remains more to do to reach our fundraising goal. We are still thoroughly convinced that this project of helping children from the poor and vulnerable community is a valuable approach to contribute towards a productive future society.

We are happy to report that now we are working with Tonkara scheme, an architecture firm in Yokohama, Japan. Our colleague, architect Mr. Yuya, is providing us his expertise. His exceptional design is based on his previous experience with UNICEF in Rwanda for similar work. Since we started working together, our previous ideas have been greatly enhanced with the addition of many new features. Thank you, Mr. Yuya!

In addition, Mr Yuya’s notion of collaborative design, whereby beneficiaries give their views and insight on the infrastructure before a final plan is determined, has been a unique addition to involving the community. We will have an interactive workshop with beneficiaries when travel restrictions are eased. We are also planning to link Mr. Yuya with a Rwandan company to facilitate acquiring relevant construction permits.

However, these arrangements--like anywhere else--have been disrupted due to COVID-19. Rwanda initiated a lockdown to halt the spread of virus in March. That lockdown has slowed activities and halted others momentarily. For instance, making appointments with district land offices has not been smooth, and the backlog has lengthened. We wait for the situation to return to normal so that a geological and topological survey can be done, and we are keen to get guidance from relevant local authorities.

Our plans to visit Rwanda in May to further consult with in-country stakeholders and village beneficiaries had to be postponed, again due to Covid-19. However, for the last four months we have been busy helping the same community with basic humanitarian needs. As the lockdown came into action, people who lived day-to-day faced hunger.

We have worked with the local government to provide food and soap and to restore piped water to the village. This assistance helped shield lives from the shock of necessary Public Health measures, like social distancing, to reduce virus spread.

We remain excited for this project and are working hard to ensure that it will be implemented successfully. We encourage referral to anyone who might be of help in any way towards building and implementing this exciting, holistic early childhood development centre in Rwanda.

Links:

Mar 9, 2020

Design Sketch for New School

We now have some preliminary design sketches for the school.  This is exciting progress as we can see that the Ministry of Education is supporting this new school too. We are excited to share these design ideas with our community.

The sketches show all sides of the building.  They comply with standards set by the government and will use local brick and stone. There will be windows and doors to allow free circulation of fresh air and easy entry and exit for the kids.  There will be a ramp to the upstairs so kids that have mobility challanges can get to their classrooms easily. 

We hope to addd a kitchen building and of course facilities for sanitation and hygiene.  There will be gardens nearby to help support the food services.  We hope to add a performance room and stage so that the performing arts is well supported.

During the building phase, we hope to build eco-toilets that have been designed in Rwanda and can help with the elimination of waste as well as the creation of fresh and wholesome fertilizer for use in the gardens that will significantly increase crop yield. 

We also hope that there can be workshops for the artisans who will make costumes, drums, and the wooden flutes that Batwa people have played for hundreds of years, known as the "Amakondera".  For that reason, we hope to name the new center the "Amakondera Institute for Culture and Early Childhood Education".

Andt for now, we have a good start!


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