From a distance as we approached one of the home steads just after the trading center in the Juru sector of Rwanda, I was sure that the lady busy cleaning a water filter was the owner of the home we were visiting. Little did I know that she was just a volunteer carrying out her routine checks on families that were given water filters by 20 Liters.
Cyiza Charlotte is 43 years old and married with seven kids. She is also one of 28 volunteers from Juru sector who were trained in March 2016 by 20 Liters in the backwashing of water filters and how to manage and clean filters.
“I volunteered to train and help people in my village because volunteering keeps me in regular contact with others and helps me to connect with my neighbors and to develop a solid support system and a feeling of helpfulness” she says smilingly.
The volunteers meet once every week and plan daily visits and checkups on families that were given filters. Not only do they clean and repair the water filters but they also educate families on the dangers and repercussions of drinking dirty water.
“We mostly engage kids and teach them never to drink dirty water and advise them to always ask for water from any home with a water filter. Though we plan on whom to visit and when, sometimes we receive calls from the recipients whose filters have problems or blocked filters and we immediately go and help them out” Cyiza explains.
When asked why she chose to do work for free, Cyiza smiles and says it benefits not only the people she helps but herself as well.
“It seems that when we focus on the needs of others, we may also reap benefits ourselves. It means that voluntary activity in the community brings better health, improved educational performance and greater life satisfaction.” Cyiza says.