Updating you on the progress in the Cyaruzinge community is complicated only because so much advancement is made every day. Your donations supply the support which makes it possible for the Batwa to move forward in their daily lives.
Mr. Yuya, a Japanese architect, is working with us to develop the drawings of the plans for the (ECDC) Early Childhood Development Center for 100 Batwa Children and is traveling to Rwanda in May. Edward and Perrilee will be joining Yuya to work through the decisions on plans and talk with contractors and the Rwanda government to move the project forward.
Because the Vocational Education program that you have generously supported has been so successful in the village, the Nader Sector has offered ten scholarships to the Cyaruzinge community. These ten adolescents now have the opportunity for vocational training. A joyous time for the community.
Your donations to the soccer campaign have enabled the children to participate in sporting events. This increases their self-esteem and helps them succeed. The opportunity to be on a ‘football’ team motivates the children to be healthy and do well in school.
The fundraiser to build the Multipurpose Meeting Room is a success. The fundraiser provided enough to build and furnish the room to accommodate the different needs for the advancement in the activities desired and needed to move the security and productivity forward.
Having this room will provide an appropriate setting for business meetings, health education, and clinic activities, clubs, music activities, and education training.
A government nurse came to the Irerero Nursery School and administrated to the five and six-year-old children their polio vaccines. The parents are so happy to have their children treated equally to the other children in Rwanda.
Micro-loans are showing great signs of success. The Barber and the Beauticians that have completed their training have bonded together to enhance the hair shop by covering the concrete walls with white paint, adding a colorful cloth drop ceiling, floor covering, comfortable beautician chairs for the clients, and a hair washing station. This will bring in the people from the neighborhood surrounding the village.
The brick makers are patiently waiting for the rain to stop so they can start making bricks. The farmers are glad the rainy season continues as the garden is doing well.
The Grass Collectors are tracking their orders and are ready to increase their business. Keeping a ledger of money invested, expenses and money earned. Showing they know how to operate a business.
More business opportunities for micro-loans are in review, some of the business plans might not work and the PSA team is encouraging revision of the plans to maximize the benefit of the loans. We prioritize the businesses that employ workers from the village.
The three to six-year-olds are being fed every school day from the porridge kitchen. The Nader Sector was pleased to find the nutrition program so successful and feeding so many children. The Sector is now bringing milk regularly, the cooks are adding milk to the porridge.
The Village leadership and PSA are helping parents that can’t afford school fees, including the mandatory lunch fee that has to be paid for the primary school students to attend school.
Children are attending school and having a nourishing lunch. The result is their health is improving. Because they are not hungry the children have the energy to participate in hopeful and fun activities. The other family members have more food to eat at home, this allows the young adults to eat more. The new government mandatory lunch program for children attending primary school is working. Children are getting fed a healthy lunch, which leads to more Cyaruzinge Pygmy children attending school.
A group of young adult villagers is now active enough to walk to church services where they are dancing and singing. This interaction with the community at large is raising the social standing and increasing the positive sentiments towards the formerly marginalized community.
Great progress has been made over the last two years through the Covid-19 Pandemic. Because of your generosity the People of Cyaruzinge have been able to eat. Thank You for your help in securing food through this time. Now the corn and beans are growing well and there is much hope of a large harvest.
It seems like we havn't made much progress on the New Preschool. It is easy to blame COVID - 19 for the delays. That is because it has been because of the COVID pandemic that many things have not gotten done. Government offices have been closed, the boarder has been closed so the team has not been able to go to Rwanda to register and do many of the in person meetings and decisions that need to be made.
Many decisions have been made and we continue to move forward as we can from affar with government offices.
Though there are many projects capturing our attention, including the panemic, buidling a kithen, feeding the children, soccer for joy, occupational educaton, highschool, primary school, preschool, drinking water, electricity, woman health issues, childfens health, cultural opportunities to advance the communities music and dance performance experiences.
The community is making advancements in may ways and they are showing the way to their accomplishments.
In Rwanda much of the summer of 2021 had strict lock-down rules, due to COVID-19. These mandates were very difficult for the Cyaruzinge community. Thanks to all of you who were able to contribute to providing food for the Cyaruzinge community. Things are much better now because they were fed during the pre vaccine’s arriving in Kigali struggles. People are back to work, the children are going to school.
The land that has been purchased for the building of the Cultural and basic Education has been planted in beans and cassava (yucca) as it waits for the next steps in the building. The old women in the village took on the cultivation of the ground, PSA gave them chicken manure, as it has fewer insects embedded in it that will damage the crops. Thank you donators for supplying the cost of manure and seeds.
Bampire, now a young woman in the Cyaruzinge Village, Graduated from high school and went on to business school training. A PSA donor believed that education of one would change the poverty of the Batwa community. Bampire is now back in the community using the education she achieved. She is now the woman in charge of the newly built kitchen, using her skills to keep financial records and to operate the complicated feeding of 105 Irerero preschool children and the neediest of the primary school children.
Feeding over 100 people is a big undertaking. The two cooks purchase the supplies needed to feed portage before school every day. They are busy preparing the porridge, feeding the preschoolers, and cleaning up afterward. These daily tasks include keeping the exterior of the kitchen tidy for ongoing drop-in government officials looking to create a similar government program for the many malnourished Rwandan preschool-aged children. Thank You to all of you PSA donors who funded the build a kitchen project.
One of the young women who attended seamstress training and the two young men in vocational training to become welders have finished their school training and have now been placed in internships, securing their training to employment. All of this has been made possible by the generous gifts of the PSA donors. We also have a new vocational student for seamstresses training who started last week.
68 Cyaruzinge children, age 7 to 12, are attending primary school. Rwanda has a new requirement for school children. The fee to feed them lunch has to be paid quarterly for them to attend. This is a good requirement, but many of the families do not have the money. PSA has agreed to subsidize the families who don’t have the funds. This will ensure the children will be fed and go to school, a double win.
Cyaruzinge also has three students in 9 Program (High School), two girls and one boy. PSA donors have supported these children. Thank You, these children are the near future of the community.
Dear Pygmy Survival Alliance Supporters,
Cyaruzinge Village Progress Report
July 30, 2021
By Perrilee Pizzini - Project Leader
All of the homes have Electricity. This has changed their place in the District, giving them status with the Government. Thank You Local 46 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. (Video of people showing their homes with electricity.)
Covid-19 is still a trial. Lockdowns, they are not allowed to leave the District, which limits the ability to do day-labor. Everyone must be home by 5 pm. Still, Covid is spreading. Only 3% of the people in Rwanda have been vaccinated. All of the doses are distributed as soon as they arrive in the country. Hunger is upon them; we are again bringing food to the people of Cyaruzinge and Masoro. (Picture of Claude delivering food.)
The villagers are excited to share with you all of the progress that has been made by groups within the village and individuals. They are learning the skills so they can fix their homes themselves.
The rain finally did stop and the bricks have been made for the Amakondera community kitchen. This inspired the community to make more bricks so they can add to the wealth of the community by building more outdoor kitchens. For the 52 homes, there have been only five kitchens. They have the skills to build the kitchens, but not the money for the roofing and the door. We are excited that they have taken the lead to ask for this assistance with their project to improve their lives.
Repairs are needed on an existing kitchen that was damaged in the hail storm last winter, needs a new roof and a protective coating over the brick walls.
Irerero (the nursery school) finished out the school year with the children happy and celebrating their accomplishments. (See attached video of children parading with glee.)
The six people who received micro-loans are pleased with the progress they are making with their businesses. (Picture of women)
Four young mothers have started sewing vocational classes. Two teens have been sent to a live-in vocational school for welding. Welding safety equipment including shoes, gloves, and goggles was delivered to Mugabo and Charis. (Picture of PPE and the two students.)
Three young women have finished their beautician classes and now two are doing internships with a salon owner; the third is now pregnant and will wait until after the baby is born to do an internship. When they have their certification as qualified beauticians they will open a salon.
The other trade school students are continuing their education, however, because of the lockdown, there are many times the schools are closed stretching out the length of time of completing the course. ( Show picture of the two women with the instructor for the internship.)
The brochette stick business continues but it is now slowed because of the Covid lockdown.
The children continue to play football (soccer) in the community square. Preparing for team events when Covid restrictions allow gatherings.
Claude wants to thank everyone who contributed to the purchase of his auto. It has contributed greatly to his ability to do the work to help the community help themselves.
The elder people in Rwanda have been given the COVID-19 vaccine and that includes the old people in the Cyaruzinge community. They were pleasantly surprised because they are Batwa, the forgotten people in history. Exciting and uplifting to not be discriminated against. Their standing as people has risen within Rwanda which leads to them believing they are worthy of educating their children.
No one in the Village has gotten sick with Covid-19 because they work at staying safe by social distancing.
Pygmy Survival Alliance has four active GlobalGiving fundraisers in progress. Because of your generosity, I am able to report progress in all areas of life in the Cyaruzinge Village. This April report is to update you about the ongoing progress being accomplished in all of the projects.
In December IBEW local 46 of Seattle gave the community a grant to install electricity in their homes. The electrical contractor began installing on March 24, 2021. To date, 22 homes have been wired for the 52 dwellings. A quote when they finished wiring her home. “Life is good in our home, now it is the best. I never thought they would be so wealthy.”
Covid-19 has put a damper on everything and everyone in the world. The Charuzinge village sends their gratitude and wishes you a healthy year. Rwanda has been in lockdown for much of 2021; with this restriction, no one in the Cyaruzinge community has contracted COVID-19. This also meant the Cyaruzinge Village couldn’t work, which meant they had no food. With your generous gifts for food, PSA was able to bring them food for which they are extremely thankful. Their benefactors are people who live far away and you have to give money so they can eat. This tells them that you care about them the marginalized people of Rwanda. This act of kindness raises their self-worth and gives them hope of being able to care for themselves. In January they planting beans. They plan to dry half of the beans and save them for hard times ahead.
The chief Jean Marie asked us to help build a community kitchen to Feed the Children. The men started making bricks; however, the soil was too wet, the bricks were not of good quality, everyone agreed it was best to wait for the weather to change, and the soil to dry. It is important to make good quality bricks so the kitchen will last many years. However, the weather forecast is for 60% chance of daily thunder-showers for another three weeks. It looks like it will be May before the kitchen can be built. Now we have the funds so the kitchen will be built as soon as the rainy season ends. Claude translated a message from the village. They asked him to send it to you, their benefactors, “We are no longer temporary people, but people building for a future.”
The Rwandan government allowed the opening of nursery and primary schools. Cyaruzinge has 69 students attending primary school.
Seven to twelve-year-old boys from the Village are able to attend primary school if they are fed a meal before and after school. The parents and elders want these boys to continue in school so they will be able to contribute to the community and themselves. The community kitchen feeding the children will make it possible for these children to go to school instead of looking for work doing odd jobs to make enough money to eat. Though the kitchen isn’t built yet, we have hired a woman to feed ten of these children to keep them in school. They are fed breakfast before school and again after school before soccer practice.
The soccer teams are practicing and to be prepared when they are able to compete again. With the schools allowed to open the coaches and players are hopeful that competitive sports leagues will be allowed to meet.
The Amakondera Early Childhood Development Center is making progress with the survey done; the Architect is now drawing the specifics and we are investigating building the utilities that will best be suited for the ECDC. There is a shortage of water; we are looking into water catchment possibilities.
Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day is every 7 April. Dedicated to the memory of the atrocities of the 500,000 to 1 million Rwandans who were butchered mercilessly during the genocide of 1994. In Rwanda, there are candlelight memorial services, moments of silence for the victims, speeches, exhibits, conferences; all dedicated to the remembrance of those who died. As this is a memorial to the family of the citizens of Rwanda it doesn’t last only one day but throughout the month of April. Many of the Cyaruzinge people lost family members during the revolution.
I cannot end this report with the Genocide, so I am ending with this exciting news.
PSA was given the grant to encourage the expansion of entrepreneurs. In March micro-loans were distributed to six people in the community to help them expand their businesses. More on this as the micro-loan program grows.
See below the attached Kwibanda (Focus).
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser