President’s Comment – 14 Aug 16

This is an inspiring story that offers hope in a community that has been subjected to  extreme horrors in the recent past. Rotary does some marvellous work!

African youth construct kitchen gardens for genocide survivors

Rotaractors take part in clean up

Rotaractors and guests clean up and create kitchen gardens in the village of Kinyinya, Rwanda.

By Peter King Oloo, a member of the Rotaract Club of Kie, Rwanda

Nearly 140 Rotaractors and guests from across the East African countries of Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda gathered in Rwanda on 26 March to participate in the monthly cleaning exercise in Rwanda called Umuganda.

The Rotaractors, through their award-winning annual project called REACT (Rotaract East Africa Impact), had organized a project to construct kitchen gardens and raise funds for medical insurance. Both these activities were geared toward helping the community of the 1994 Rwanda genocide survivors who were resettled in Kinyinya village in Kigali.

REACT-Fast-factsThese survivors were resettled under the Peace and Hope Initiative. We sought to carry out a project with some guests that would be sustainable and enable the people at this community to feed themselves for longer term.

The community was trained with practice to construct kitchen gardens in tight spaces and to balance their diet. By the end of the project, 50 kitchen gardens had been constructed.

Miss Rwanda 2016, Miss Jolly Mutesi, joined us and implored the young girls at the center to be hard workers and make wise choices. She told stories of girls who had listened to the promises of boys in the village, and then found themselves alone once they became pregnant.

We raised 500,000 Rwandan Francs for medical insurance, enough to cover 167 individuals for a year. The project was hosted by the Rotaract Club of Kigali City and the Rotaract Club of KIE and was the fourth annual REACT project after Uganda (2013), Burundi (2014) and Kenya (2015). The 2017 leg will be held in Tanzania and its concept is in development.

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