HACIMANA Seraphine - ABANYAMURAVA's Team Leader
During Global Grassroots' most recent trip to Rwanda in January, we visited Gahanga, a community on the outskirts of mountainous Kigali where project leader HACIMANA Seraphine and the ABANYAMURAVA team gathered their neighbors to speak with us about their first water delivery earlier that week.
Gahanga was formerly forced to rely upon a dirty water source located at the bottom of the valley. Before attending Global Grassroots training, Seraphine noticed that not only was the two-hour water collection too time intensive for her busy community, it often left those physically disabled or infected with HIV from the genocide relying on men with bicycles to collect water in exchange for money or sex. After graduating from our training, Serpahine and her fellow team members realized that they had the power to combat this issue head-on.
This dedicated group of 17 women decided to design a water tank project that could reach over 60 households, including Gahanga’s most vulnerable neighbors by providing clean, reliable and affordable water. However, the quickly-rising price of cement and professional labor meant that our original Global Grassroots grant would no longer cover the construction of the tank foundation. Instead of abandoning their project, ABANYAMURAVA put their newly-learned creative resourcing skills to work and decided to sacrifice their time and wages to come together and build the foundation themselves. They were then able to rely upon the newly designed rain-water collectors during rainy season, and saved what was necessary so that they could ensure their first water delivery once dry season began.
During our visit, community members shared with us that they were incredibly grateful for the water tank. It meant that they no longer had to forfeit part of their busy day to make the arduous journey down the valley to only return with dirty water. Children were now on-time for school and mothers had enough water to cook for their families throughout the day. We also learned that people were now able to clean their houses and themselves much more often, which they told us greatly improved their quality of everyday life. We were especially pleased to hear that with the new tank, many women were no longer sexually exploited because of their need for water.
What was most thrilling to see, was the pride exhibited by these women. With the help of Global Grassroots, these community members learned to properly diagnose an issue and found the solution to promote social change on their own. Seraphine, who is married with seven children at the age of 38, has been approached by several individuals requesting that she share her skills and guidance so that they too may combat issues within their own communities.
We are incredibly proud of the ABANYAMURAVA team who has proven the validity of their project name in Kinyarwanda. These “hard workers” have truly shown us that they are willing to sacrifice in the spirit of improving their community.
Global Grassroots team members, Allison and Gyslaine learning ab