Happy New Year. I first wanted to thank you for your prayers and support in different ways during last year of 2017. We have been able to see changes in the lives of many Rwandans who were suffering from lack to access to clean and safe water, children are attending schools more regularly than it used to be and families are experiencing holistic development. May our Lord bless you for your tireless work and we hope that 2018 will continue to be a year of blessings.
20 Liters Program Report – December 2017
During the month of December 2017, the Gashora water team worked for fewer days than usual to allow for them to spend time on harvests and to celebrate the holidays with their families. In the 8 days that they worked, they were blessed to have enough rain to be able to assemble household filters for 201 families. This was achieved with the support of recipients who joined volunteers to sift and wash sand. Distributions focused on the villages of Rutanga and Rweteto, and as usual was accompanied by trainings on filter maintenance, hygiene and sanitation.
Additionally, 89 home visits were performed in Bugesera District. The focus was on making sure that recipients understand how to maintain filters and to share clean water with their neighbors. One of our volunteers visited Pastor Venuste who lives next to a nursery school and shares water with the 25 children who attend the school. The head of the school told our volunteer that since they began to have clean water to share with their students, school attendance has increased from around 70% to 90%.
Staff also trained 6 additional volunteers and health center staff from Rilima and Gashora who wanted additional training for the maintenance and use of Community Filters installed at their facilities.
One consistent challenge for many of our volunteers has been the difficulty of completing home visits effectively. In order to visit families, volunteers travel long distances on foot, often needing to carry heavy supplies including water, pumps, and sometimes sand in order to be prepared to repair filters. In response to this challenge, several volunteer groups started local savings groups to be able to purchase bicycles for volunteers to use in conducting home visits. They expected this to take 3-4 years of saving before purchases could be made. When we heard of their efforts, we were able to find resources to help share the costs of purchasing these bikes. So far, 44 volunteers have been provided with bikes and this activity will continue to provide bikes to an additional 35 volunteers. This support was very much appreciated by volunteers who said, ”They thank everyone who contributed or is contributing to the success of the project. May the Lord bless abundantly our friends everywhere who pray for Rwandans and provide means to access clean and safe water”.
Check out our interactive program map for more detailed information.