On May 22, the community of Nyarubuye joined government officials to dance and celebrate the opening of the new health clinic. The three rural community-constructed health clinics are the fundamental to the country’s strong public health infrastructure. In addition to serving as centers for COVID education, testing, tracing, treatment and vaccination, PICO Rwanda leaders in Mumeya have launched a breast cancer awareness campaign, started a sewing cooperative, and plan to transform their welding school into a business.
While Pastor John and Fr. Innocent are away (John is spending time in the U.S. with his wife, Robin, for a well-deserved break. Fr. Innocent in in Kenya for three months as part of the Jesuit formation called tertianship), PICO Rwanda leaders continue to utilize the organizing skills they have learned. Here is a short summary of activities.
In Nyarubuye, Charlotte Muteteri took a lead to work with the Mayor and other officials in the district to organize a grand opening of the clinic. Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate with traditional dance and food. The clinic will serve 17,000 families in the area.
In Mumeya, leaders have organized a breast cancer awareness campaign in concert with their health clinic which continues to serve as a central hub in the fight against COVID 19. In addition, to address the employment needs of young people in this rural area, leaders have started a sewing cooperative, making clothing for market and are making plans to change the welding school into a welding business. Because the clinic is a center of activity, new homes and businesses are sprouting up in the area, providing additional economic opportunity.
Women from Nyange continue to plan completion of toilets, community market place and parking lot for their cooperative roadside business. The community has completed construction of a water collection and pumping system to serve the market. Working with government leaders the plan is to provide a rest spot along this well-travelled highway for local community members to market produce and other goods. The kiln used to produce constructed two year ago was severely damaged by heavy rains and is no longer functioning. Some roofing tiles and bricks are still produced using the smaller, old kiln.