Muhembe Village, Rwanda as reported by Venuste: “They don’t have access to clean water and they need it.”
Muhembe is an impoverished rural village in Southern Rwanda. It is full of poverty! It is located in the middle of the mountains. Their daily life is for most waking-up and going to farm for their livelihood, but eating twice a day is a daydream. Their agriculture depends on the rains. Getting the water they drink and use in their homes is not easy! They get their water from more convenient swampy areas. There is a public water source built a very long time ago, in colonial times. It is a 10 km walk to that water source, so for drinking water many people make that long walk, although the water is not clean. Others drink the swampy water.
This boy is very unhappy as he walks to bring home water.
Kids are at odds with their parents, as they are expected to fetch water and make it to school, too. This is very difficult and tiring for the children. The child has to go to school after fetching water, which includes carrying a heavy jar on his/her head while going up and down hills. They spend many hours doing this. The children from Muhembe often live with anger over this issue and many drop out of school. Some leave the village to try to find a better life, only to learn that life in the city is just as hard when you are uneducated.
Providing clean water in Muhembe Village would help children to stay in (and also go back to) school. Health would improve immediately from diseases caused by drinking dirty water. Our partners believe that “Harmony would be increased in the households and seeing a child laugh would make parents happy; providing access to clean water [ministering to the physical need] would be a sign of tangible preaching and lead to transformation.”
The school in the village of Muhembe has no water. There is a defunct community health post. It does not have clean water, so it has stopped working. The main hospital is a walk of more than 4 miles. Treatment is not free; there is an annual contribution (if the person can afford to make the payment) that the citizen must make, and the government provides mutual insurance so that the paid-up family can get some treatment.
In their daily life, they people use swamp water, but to get drinking water, they must walk 10 km to collect water from a well built during the colonial period. This water is not clean. The most common diseases are intestinal worms, diarrhea, and typhoid. Also, the effects of malnutrition are common. In this village, you will find many small children with bloated stomachs due to drinking bad water from swamps.
We [Heaven’s Family] have done several clean water projects in Rwanda and this is the second clean water project with this ministry partner. We have worked with our partner, Venuste Nyirimbabzi, since 2016. He is an orphan from the genocide. He came back to live in the same village where his family was killed and he had fled as a youth. He is dedicated to the ministry the Lord has called him to in the south of Rwanda. His commitment to the people has been obvious in ministry through Farming God’s Way in Rwanda and Burundi. Farming God’s Way (FGW) has been very successful under his leadership and is growing in Rwanda.
He is “all in” according to Jerry Jefferson, director of Heaven’s Family FGW. Community development is important in the ministry, and they are involved in the school, vocational sewing, and carpentry projects. Venuste is married with three children. His wife, Edujie, works alongside him in ministry with a focus on the young ladies in the sewing program.
The FGW God’s Love Group’s (GLG) will manage the system, and those in the community who are able will contribute a small amount for the water. This will help them to have ownership [of the] project, and keep everyone vigilant to keep the system in good use.
Providing clean water to these people who have suffered so much would meet a truly urgent need. It would help all of the community to have better health, save endless hours collecting dirty water, kids [will be able to] go to school, and it also will help to promote Farming God’s Way to more families. Besides all this, it would show the people that the Lord has not forgotten them and help them to continue to put their trust in Him and trust in one another.
The project includes developing the mountain spring which 1.5 miles up. The people will provide the manpower to dig the trenching and laying the materials. The water will go through a filtering system and be piped to important water points to bring water to the community. The path avoids people’s fields.
Our ministry partners have been teaching Farming God’s Way, an effective no-till method of farming. This ministry teaches poor farmers how to grow more crops and also includes discipleship groups called God’s Love Groups.
The ministry has been bringing positive change. Rwanda experienced a genocide in 1994 where as estimated 800,000 to one million were murdered. The killing was perpetrated by neighbors and friends. It destroyed mutual trust, love among neighbors, and unity – everything was over. Now, today it is hard to find a person who trusts another and who would leave their child in the house when not there. Also, people were killed in the church, which made some people refuse to return to the house of God, but because of GLGs, people have regained trust in God and trust in people. Young people are seeing the results of FGW as their families are having more food to eat. The program has been transformative! The GLGs include widows, women who lost their children, and also perpetrators of genocide. Yet they live in one group, share life, and work together in farming. The GLG have built unity and reconciliation between families!
PROJECT SPECIFICS AND TIMELINE
The total project cost will be $8,000 for labor and materials to provide a gravity-feed system, water filtration and treatment, and a storage tank for the water.
Expected Start Date: December 2023
Expected Completion: January-February 2024
All projects are made possible by World Changers.