It is with great excitement that I write to you the progress being made in both Cyaruzinge and Masoro Pygmies. We have arranged for three more young women for the Cyaruzinge Village and four young women for Masoro to attend beauty school. We have also arranged for four young women and one young man to attend sewing classes. All of the students have been attending classes and doing well. They arrive on time and stay the whole day. The sewing students from Masoro were able to obtain a sewing project to make outfits for an Easter Holiday event. A paying job that worked out well.
The young women who ask for assistance to become beauticians have succeeded. It is exciting to see them become self-assured and successfully learn the skills needed to earn a living.
Hello PSA donors and followers. This GlobalGiving update Report is different. This Report is about research done by Rui Diogo and his team, who have presented us with his Video of the Batwa Pygmy current situation and how they got here. It is an excellent brief history and synopsis of who they are in today's world.
AZIMUTH WORLD FOUNDATION
Connecting the Dots
With Josefa Cariño Tauli
Video link - 55 minutes
Connecting the Dots with Rui Diogo
Connecting the Dots with Rui Diogo
In July of 2022, Rui Diogo and his team toured East-Central Africa.
They contacted Pygmy Survival Alliance, and we guided them to Cyaruzinge Village. As they were researching the Indigenous people of Africa, The community of Batwa in Cyaruzinge was the perfect group of people to interview and observe. The video is an excellent presentation of who the Pygmies were and are.
Thank you Azimuh World Foundation, Rui Diogo, and his team for such a clear picture of what happened in the history of the Batwa people and who they are today.
Near the closing of the video, Rui mentions PSA work and HDI’s contributions to the people who were left behind in history.
Vocational education continues. The young women who completed the hairdressing internship can support themselves working in the Kigali salon. They also are teaching other women the basics at the salon in the Cyaruzinge village. The sewing internships are working well, they are being taught more skills in cutting out patterns and sewing a larger number of clothing pieces.
Computer training for the Irerero teachers is taught in the evenings. Cartoons are shown to the children two evenings a week in the preschool, music, and dance are enjoyed one or two nights a week by the children and young teens. Everyone is looking forward to the new multi-purpose room being completed so more than one activity can be offered every day. Giving the community opportunities for growth, classes, and fun entertainment in the evenings. This is very exciting to the community, as they are happy when they dance and sing, and they do music because they are happy, creating more social cohesiveness.
The teachers will divide the children into three groups to have more manageable numbers of preschoolers. 130 children are now attending Irerero, and the multipurpose building will allow the community to have space to move forward in feeding the 35 children who are 6-month-olds to 3-year-old, adding on to the duties of the Kitchen staff who are feeding the children a nutritional meal every school day.
Large accomplishments have happened recently. The Multipurpose building is being built, expecting to move in before the first of 2023. The regulations for building in Rwanda changed this year, making it a long process getting the building permit, finally, the community has been able to build. The bricks are installed, the metal roof is on and the internal furnishings will hopefully be done in December. PSA will be taking part in GlobalGiving on Giving Tuesday, November 29.
SHARE, a monthly ongoing program has begun in the village teaching family planning to teen mothers and young women.
Soccer continues on Saturdays. The children have received new uniforms and soccer balls so they can compete in the local events.
PSA is happy to provide this report on all our projects about what is happening. Most of the projects are ongoing. The major goal is to bring health and education so the people can choose their personal and collective way of living.
Vocational Education is ongoing; the task ahead of us is basic as there are many young people wanting to attend classes to secure a craft. As the number of successes of graduates of training programs steadily increases, the trade schools are more welcoming of the Batwa. As the number of admitted students increases, the funding and scholarships increase from government and private donors.
Much like in the USA, many trades and professions require licensing that requires a minimum amount of training and experience. This is the case for welders, masons, and hair care providers. Two women who finished the classes on hair care have started their internship working in a salon where they can be certified; this will increase their ability to make a fair wage. Internship
The Irerero Nursery School is two classrooms and an office/storage room. The building is less than 1000 square feet with over a hundred 3-6-year-olds attending. The main classroom is used for many business and cultural meetings and classes after regular school hours.
Our newest project is building a multi-purpose room located next to the main Irerero classroom and be used as a nursery school classroom in the mornings. In the afternoons and evenings, it will be used for meetings and other activities, like music and dance rehearsals. The bricks are made, have dried in the sun, the sector has approved the plans and the community is prepared to build the room this month.
We have already built the porridge kitchen near the Irerero school, and it is working out very well. The children aged three through six have been fed a porridge meal every school day since September. We have now added thirty-four children aged six months to three years to the group being fed. This is a very exciting addition, and the mothers are so happy! Feeding children is a very rewarding ongoing project.
The 75 books from the collection done in Seattle for nursery school children were greeted with children picking a book and going to the classroom to enjoy sitting and sharing.
There is a great need to build an Early Childhood Development Center. When we started the ask, we thought we would eventually grow to have 100 students. The community and the architect are reassessing the number of students the facility will support. In June a team of three volunteers went to Cyaruzinge to move forward with the plans for the Early Childhood Development and Cultural Center: Yuya the architect from Japan, and Eddy, a dedicated Rwandan PSA member from the beginning of PSA, to help with the culture and language, and Perrilee a USA team member, working with Claude the Field Manager for HDI and PSA. Many lessons were learned, and plans materialized. Everyone is excited to have this project moving forward. We have been working on this for several years. PSA and HDI have purchased a hectare of land, had it surveyed, and have begun the process of accumulating the ideas
Supplying soccer teams with uniforms and balls is an ongoing project. The rocky ground is hard on the balls and new players who want to join will need uniforms.
Covid is taking a break in Rwanda, with no new COVID cases; the country is open to competing teams and the children are busy practicing and playing Football (Soccer to us here in the USA).
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.
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.
Mr. Yuya, a Japanese architect, is working with us to develop the drawings of the plans for the Early Childhood Development Center 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.
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 and 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.
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