Health and Community Based Rehabilitation Domain
We are currently doing home based physiotherapy for children with disabilities who are not able to reach out to our community center due to several challenges such as residing in very remote places, overweight where parents/caregivers can no longer be able to carry them up to the center. Through this activity we are reaching out to 15 children located in two intervention administrative sectors. On the other hand, the organization is conducting physiotherapy from its center for about 20 children.
We are doing regular community outreaches mainly in the families of our beneficiaries aiming at looking at their social condition. This activity is accompanied with guidance, counseling and facilitation of how to deal with and get rid of poverty and other social challenges as well as maintaining hygiene and sanitation. At these visits, we always encourage our beneficiaries to prepare an affordable balanced diet as the way to deal with malnutrition and stunting especially among their children. Furthermore, we try to record the story of the mothers that take care of their children with disabilities in the form of interviews. These interviews should help to inform other people about the critical and poor lifestyle most of the people with disabilities are facing in Rwanda, but also to inform about their need for special attention and relevant advocacy.
Education and Inclusiveness
As the saying goes around, “a child that grows without education is like a building being raised without a foundation”.
Therefore, Love and Care started an inclusive program known as early childhood development. This is not a mere nursery school, it rather comprises 25 children including those with disabilities and others from vulnerable families. This special class was established for several reasons including:
- Ensuring value and dignity of children with disabilities
- Showing the community that children with disabilities are just as capable as anyone else
- Brain awakening and providing fundamental education to children with disability and others from vulnerable families.
- Strengthening the quality of education in creative, interactive and entertaining ways
- Equipping children with the social, cognitive and emotional skills they need to continue learning as well as relating with their fellows and others
- Lessing the burden from parents since most of them are living in miserable condition
This is an optimal initiative which is being appreciated so much by the parents and the local government officials as well. The organization is much challenged by parents who would like their children to be part of this program, but so far, the center is not able to accommodate more than 30 children.
In order to tackle poverty and improve the well-being of Love and Care beneficiaries (120 women/parents of disabled children) as they are grouped into four development-oriented group associations, several activities are being done. The goal is to enable and empower them economically, to consequently be in the position of meeting basic needs for their children and families in general. Some of these activities include:
In cooperation with our volunteers from Germany / Friends of Rwanda, Love and Care has established the idea of a bag project. In this project bags are sewed by mothers of children with disabilities which were trained in a sewing workshop financed by Love and Care. The idea behind this project is to sell these products both locally and internationally through a fundraising system. For one donation every donator gets one handmade and unique bag as a thank you reward. With every bag sold, not only are the seamstresses financially supported, but part of the donation goes directly to the organization in order to maintain the Love and Care program in the future.
There is another group of women who are quite involved in agriculture of vegetables and other cash crops. In order to reinforce this life transformational initiative, the organization has freely provided farming fields and initial seeds, whereas the beneficiaries are collectively getting involved in manual works such as cultivating, planting seeds, weeding, harvesting and selling the product. In all these activities, they are being monitored, guided and accompanied by Love and Care for a proper management and usage. This project aims at helping group members get small capital for individual small but sustainable businesses once they have sold the product, starting from a few members and reinvesting in the same activity.
Love and Care is currently thinking on long-term and impactful projects such as pig farming, that will be regularly generating income to sustain our program.
The last two weeks we visited the four group associations. Margit, the godmother of one of the former volunteers (David) is part of a womens association in germany. This group decided that they want to support women around the world and heard about our group associations. Their plan is to build up a relationship with these Rwandese women and support them financially. From the financial aid the women are supposed to build up a sustainable project on which they can work on together. As it is only possible to support one of the four groups we decided to make a little competition. Each group had to think about a sustainable project and present us their project plan in the end. It was really a pleasure to meet the different group associations and they welcomed us warm hearted. Every group put a lot of effort in their project idea so that we had trouble to decide which project is going to win the competition. We talked to the women association in Germany and came to a mutual agreement.
The project that convinced us the most is about vegetable farming. Their plan is to sell the vegetables on the market to gain money and also to use the vegetables to have a healthy and good nutrition for their families. The dream of the group is to save the income to buy a cow one day. A cow can be very useful to get a natural fertilizer and to feed the children with milk for a better nutrition.
The convincing point of the project was the fact that the group will work together which also strengthens the cohesion of the community. We’re looking forward to join their work, starting in January.
Murakoze cyane to Margits group association and to the group associations here in Rwanda.