I pray you are well in this unprecedented time. Our family is safe and well in New Hampshire. I have started my role as Interim Rector at the Church of the Cross. They are WONDERFUL people and I can already tell this will be a good season.
Unfortunately, this experience of quarantine is not the same for everyone. Many people in Rwanda live off of what they make each day through wage labor. Rwanda has been in a complete shutdown for a month now. The government has done an excellent job taking COVID seriously from an early stage and their decision has helped save lives.
However, the complete shutdown there has meant so many hard-working people are now very hungry- on the very brink of starvation.
Some of my dear friends there have been working hard to collect money and support the most vulnerable.
Below is a message from my friend Joel, who I trust completely.
If you give through the buttons in this email, I can make sure the money gets to him quickly and you will get a tax receipt at the end of the year.
In Faith, Hope and Love,
I wanted to reach out with an update on the food distribution efforts here in Kigali. I first wanted to extend my deepest thanks and that of the folks we have been partnering with. All of our partners have wanted me to communicate just how impactful these funds have been. While I hate to sensationalize this situation there have been numerous occasions where food distributions have quite literally saved lives. Thank you for taking the time to respond to our messages, to share this need with others and to give so generously.
Currently, Rwanda has extended a full lockdown until the 30th of April. It is possible that some restrictions will ease at this time but Rwanda certainly appears to be airing on the side of public health caution over economic caution. The government has stepped up in countless ways to provide food to the most venerable however the reality is that they simply can not reach everyone nor in a timely manner. It has taken a private-public relationship in most sectors to keep everyone safe.
We felt right from the beginning of this distribution effort that if we had a trusted Rwanda partner (co-worker, church member, community leader, leader of an NGO) come to us and explain the need in their community and their distribution method that we would trust them to implement the giving and we would supply the funds. Up to this point we have channeled funds through a number of avenues. These include:
ATN: Africa Transformation Network has increasingly provided more and more food for those in their community on the outskirts of Kigali throughout the duration of this lockdown. The government in their area was so impressed with their efforts that they provided them with a vehicle and labour to help with their distributions. They even managed to keep people employed in certain neighborhoods by paying them wages to plant food for others. Funds we have raised have contributed to approximately 5,000 people being fed.
Vineyard Church: We have partnered with the Vineyard church in their community of Muyange to support the distribution of food to 300 families.
Sector Leaders: Through co-workers we have been connected with sector leadership in two sectors in Kigali and have supported government food initiatives to fill in the gaps. The fund we have provided for these distributions have served approximately 15,000 being fed.
Love with Actions: A good friend of mine runs an NGO that works with disabled children in the city and he has been able to provide food to these children, their families, and vulnerable members in their community. We have supported the distribution of food to approximately 600 people through this NGO.
Unfortunately we have been running low on funds and the need is large however we are trusting the God will provide.
I have attached a few pictures from these distributions.
Thank you again for all of your support.