COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021

by PygmySurvival Alliance
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
COVID Pandemic AGAIN Brings Hunger in July 2021
Vocational Education Ten Youths
Vocational Education Ten Youths

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

           



Irerero Students Receive Polio Vaccination
Irerero Students Receive Polio Vaccination
PSA March Newsletter
PSA March Newsletter

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January Newsletter page 1
January Newsletter page 1

 

Fortunately, the Government has figured out how to keep people working and limit the exposure to COVID-19. The basic rule is no one my come in or go out of the Kigali boarder.  Most of the people in the community are able to find work, so they are able to purchase food. Unfortunately after weeks of preparing the land, planting, and caring for the fields of food it hasn't produced the expected crops. It was very rainy when the project began. They planted and the seeds sprouted and it was looking very promising, then no more rain has watered the crops. It isn't only their crops that have failed, but all of the fields in the area look the same. Another blow to the food supplies. The commuity has not asked for a food delivery for several months. When and if they will need another deliver is unclear. It all depends on the spread of the pandemic. We are all hoping it will not be necessary. 

Below is the current January 2022 Newsletter that gives more information about what is actively happening in the Community. How the Occupational Education program is being very successful, the information on the success of the newly built kitchen, and the success of the occupational education programs. 

The Children are so excited that the Rwandan government has removed the restrictions of gathering for sports events. The teams have continued to practice and are excited to begin the excitement of the competition.  

Two weeks ago PSA asked the newly trained seamstresses to sew new uniforms for the team that needs uniforms to compete. Below is the January Newsletter you will see the young adults sewing on blue fabric, these are the new uniforms being made. This activity is a double win for the community, as the sewing of the uniforms is a paying job for the workers and the team will get the uniforms needed to compete. 

January 2022 Newsletter Page 2
January 2022 Newsletter Page 2
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November Update
November Update

 

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. 

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COVID-19 Emergency Food for Masoro and Cyaruzinge
COVID-19 Emergency Food for Masoro and Cyaruzinge

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading in Africa. More people are being infected and vaccinated. In Rwanda, there has been increased public health activity to screen people for infection and to vaccinate those most vulnerable. For example, older people and some health workers have been vaccinated in hopes of reducing the impact of the virus. 

 

In our communities, the new lockdowns have led to the loss of regular employment for many people. In turn, after a few weeks, their food supplies have dwindled and again they have faced hunger. Luckily, we have been able to coordinate food distribution with local government officials. Because of their foresight, aid workers have been able to continue distribution efforts despite curfews and travel restrictions.  Our team has been able to distribute tons of food to the village of Masoro and more recently the village of Cyaruzinge.

 

In addition, the local government recruited us to provide support for families who have been particularly hit by the infection and needed to be isolated because of that. They were facing starvation and our team was able to bring much-needed food supplies to them. 

 

While the country continues to respond vigorously to the challenges of this infection there remains much to do. We are continuing to work with our partners in country to meet these challenges. We are grateful for the donations of our generous supporters because these donations have been the difference between starvation and survival for many mothers, and infants. 

 

Thank you all for making this work possible!

.

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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 given them 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 Nzariturande 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 become 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 on the 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).

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PygmySurvival Alliance

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
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Project Leader:
Karl Weyrauch
Seattle, WA United States

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