Insights into GO’s efforts to empower communities in Rwanda to have access to good sanitation education and facilities and to be self-sufficient through sustainable partner projects in the region.
As part of our efforts to empower communities and strengthen people’s knowledge of hygiene practices, Global One supported three different projects in Rwanda. These projects were delivered in partnership with the Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP), a non-profit, voluntary organization run by passionate students of the University of Rwanda. Their mission is to improve the standard of living in underprivileged communities and build the capacity of participating students.
The projects focused mainly on WASH practices, with the construction of VIP latrine facilities and the house to house teaching of sanitary practices such as handwashing. In addition, the livelihood beekeeping project enabled 30 beneficiaries to improve their living standards.
The beekeeping project
At Global One, we believe that empowering women is key to transforming their communities, and this project is a clear example of how it can be done. In fact, the beekeeping project has reached 30 beneficiaries, mostly widows and young single mothers, and is providing them the means to support themselves.
Bees are critical to the ecosystem and a fantastic livelihood means for many. Their importance is particularly high in Rwanda, where our beekeeping project improves the standard of living in a chosen community in the Huye Sector, Huye District.
Before the starting of the practical activities, the beneficiaries attended a training session, in which they learnt how to maintain the hives and increase the harvest. Later, the modernised agriculture activities started with beneficiaries creating protective outfits and modern hives. Currently, the project has reached the final stage, and there are regular meetings to keep sure everything is running well.
House to house handwashing
One of the WASH projects implemented included a Hygiene and Water Sanitation Program, which was divided into two projects. The first being the House to House project, aimed at promoting health through the awareness of proper hygiene practices.
Hygiene teaching sessions were run in four primary schools in the Huye District, reaching over 700 children. The lessons were organized in two days of teaching, to avoid overloading children with information, and the RVCP volunteer used materials prepared by the WET Project Foundation. Young students are also engaged through the “happy hand washing song”, which ensured that the children memorised the lesson learnt.
RCVP is still implementing this project and continue to provide training session in primary schools while also aiming to deliver family outreach events.
Building sustainable toilets
In addition to the efforts of spreading hygienic practices through house to house teaching, the second part of the Hygiene and Water Sanitation Program was aimed to fill the lack of toilet facilities in Mpungwe village. The shortage of toilets has resulted in a vast number of the population suffering from diarrhoea, dysentery, intestinal worms and other water-borne diseases, which spread rapidly due to unhygienic practices and unsanitary latrines facilities.
The construction of the site took place between November and December 2016. During this occasion, our programmes team, Terri and Jessica, flew to Rwanda to help the construction of the latrines. We also assisted a family of six who did not have health insurance by paying their medical fees. The RVCP also ran a hygiene teaching session in the village, reminding communities to maintain the hygiene practices learnt during this lesson.
The project made a very large impact on the families of beneficiaries in a short amount of time. Thanks to our effort, 46 of the 125 households in Mpungwe village now have access to a VIP latrine. The construction of toilet facilities, associated with better hygiene practices, helped to reduce the rate of health diseases. However, a large proportion of families still require assistance in Mpungwe village, and there is an urgent need to deliver this kind of sustainable project. Toilet facilities and proper hygiene practices are crucial to empowering isolated and disadvantaged communities. Thus, our aim – with your support – is to widen our reach and continue supporting communities in Rwanda.