Ordinary Tasks, Extraordinary Challenges
On a recent sunny day in Rwamibabi village, Gloriose Bazigaga, a 43 year old mother of four, smiled as she provided food and drink to her family. On the surface, it is an ordinary task.
But for Gloriose, like many people living with disabilities, ordinary tasks mask extraordinary challenges.
Life has been hard for Gloriose and her husband Nywandwi. They both have physically disabilities that require them to use crutches in order to get around. It is a challenge that they have learned to manage while still working as farmers and caring for their children, including their youngest child who is deaf.
In order to meet the challenge of collecting enough water for their growing family, Gloriose and Nywandwi resorted to paying a neighbor to collect both water and the firewood to boil it. When money was scarce, sometimes they would resort to drinking water without treating it.
As people living with disabilities, risking water-borne diseases carried an even higher price.
They suffered from frequent and repeated bouts of illness. They endured too many panicked trips to the hospital. And they lived in constant fear of what might happen to their children if they were unable to recover.
That’s when Gloriose and Nywandwi found out that churches in their community were working together and distributing SAM3 household filters through the Water Project. It was a welcome development for their community. But, they doubted that they would be chosen by church leaders and volunteers to receive a filter, because they are Muslim.
However, much to their surprise and joy, they were selected to receive a filter. Not only because of their need, but also because of their relationships with other people in their village. They are known in their community as a family willing to help others, despite their great personal need.
These days, Gloriose is rejoicing and she smiles as she provides for her family and feels even more connected to the people around her. “My children are no longer sick. And I am happy that I can share clean water with my neighbors. It is the best way for me to teach them about hygiene and sanitation. I am so glad we were not left out.”