“Because Rwandans know how precious life is, we are prepared to do whatever is necessary in this time of crisis to protect it.” – Fr. Innocent
Over the past few weeks, Pastor John has been meeting online, and now in person, with leaders from the Nyarubuye community to help them shape an organizing effort to build a new health clinic there that will serve 20,000 families. More than 1,000 people have already committed to provide labor to begin construction. They have negotiated with local political leaders to secure land for the clinic, and together they are conducting a public health education campaign about coronavirus.
On our zoom conference last month, Pastor John and Father Innocent shared with us the important role organizing is playing in the successful effort to contain COVID-19 in Rwanda. The power of organizing relationships not only provides the social infrastructure to embrace best prevention practices, it also provide the tools to build community health clinics needed to meet the large public health needs in rural communities.
Nyarubuye is the site in Eastern Rwanda where more than 35,000 people were slaughtered at a Catholic Church in the 1994 genocide. http://maps.cga.harvard.edu/rwanda/nyarubuye.html A Catholic priest from that area is one of the leaders inviting PICO Rwanda to share our model of organizing and unify the community. As Fr. Innocent said on our recent zoom conference, “Because Rwandans know how precious life is, we are prepared to do whatever is necessary in this time of crisis to protect it.”