Community Support Is Strong in Rural Rwanda

December 15, 2011 - - From the loud noise of clattering women, I thought it was a fight. But when I drew closer I realized it was something else, a group of mothers queuing up to hand over parcels of beans as their contribution for needy people in the community.

Sr Uwayezu, Medicines for Humanity (MFH) project partner in Simbi, Rwanda explained. “The seeds that MFH provided for home gardens were given to mothers of malnourished children. They were expected after harvesting their crop to return at least 2 kilograms each. Most of them contribute much more. Half of what we receive will be given to other poor mothers in the community to feed their children, while the other half will be given out as seeds to other mothers of malnourished children during the planting season for cultivation.”

“We have so far received over 360 kilograms of beans; this will provide protein for at least 80 families for at least 6 months” she explains. “And, we are expecting more!”

Malnutrition is a serious problem in the rural communities of Rwanda. Last year MFH supported over 6,400 households in addressing this problem. “Providing high nutrient food from abroad is good,” says Sr. Uwayezu, “but having locally grown food to address this problem is more sustainable and effective.”

What would make a mother who is in need to share the little she has? One of the mothers in the program had this answer, “When I look at many mothers in the community who have malnourished children and cannot take care of them, some of their children dying, I feel so sorry and I feel compelled to help.”

This story was reported by MFH Program Director, Kenneth Muko.

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