We visited the homes we had built four years ago and two years ago.
Taciana was all smiles, looking healthy, happy and content. She is growing corn, bananas and has chickens. She is self-sufficient. On Sundays she worships at the Cathedral. This involves walking for 3 hours; one hour downhill and two hours back home uphill. What faith! What commitment!
Denise could not stop talking about how much she appreciated her home and what it meant for her family. She has a cow, 3 sheep, a pig – all obtained by buying and selling animals. All achieved over the two years. A real business woman. She served us all with cooked corn. She told us we had also helped her to have cataracts removed from both eyes. This involved many round trips to Kigali. ‘I can see now!’ she said.
Having a house built for them has been life-changing for both women.
This has been a wonderful day! So much to talk about that I shall write it in two parts.
The morning coach drive to the nutrition clinic took us through beautiful mountain scenery, which opened out showing Lake Kivu from a high vantage point. Just lovely. An hour and a half later, we alighted to hear sounds of singing. This came from a large multi-coloured group of children and adults singing, clapping and jumping up and down. What a welcome! We soon discovered how the values of Life in Abundance had been put into practice so effectively. This clinic serves about 100 malnourished children. Part of their meal, rice, was provided for them but they brought their own vegetables, plates and spoons. Thus they were practically involved in the project.
The feeding programme was backed up by training on how to create a mixed diet. Families would often eat just one food, say avoado, until the supply ran out, then, another, say beans until they ran out. No thought of a mixed diet.
The benefits are already being felt. Already many have moved up to a higher, better category. The aim is to move all of them out of the ‘malnourished’ category.