BRINGING PEACE ONE PERSON AT A TIME
Rwanda is one of the most devastated areas on the planet. After a horrific genocide 22 years ago that killed 800,000 Rwandans in just 100 days, the country’s population continues to suffer. With so many parents dying in the genocide or from AIDS afterwards, Rwanda has the world’s highest proportion of orphans and youth-headed families. They are struggling to survive.
A group of us from Kniesel’s traveled to Rwanda to work with PHARP (Peace Building, Healing and Reconciliation Programme), an International Christian Non-government Organization. Based in Sudan and Rwanda PHARP focuses on coordination of community and church based programs that seek to promote Peace within communities.
KNIESEL’S ON-THE-GROUND IN RWANDA
Brent Kniesel, president of Kniesel’s Auto Service Centers, has been to Rwanda several times and feels compelled to take action to help these devastated communities.
A team from Kniesel’s Auto Service Centers donated funds and worked on-the-ground in Rwanda to offer sustainable assistance to Rwandans in need. We helped organize and build a youth training center, purchased land for community gardens, built wells and provided resources for vocational training that enable lasting change.
We were deeply impacted by our time in Rwanda and continue to reach out to this community.
While in Rwanda we worked on the following projects with a local team:
- Education: Donated tuition, uniforms and school supplies for 150 impoverished children. Rwanda has one of the world’s highest percentage of orphans and lowest percentage of educated children.
- Technology: Donated four laptops, a digital camera and two printers to help PHARP produce essential materials to keep their teams and sponsors updated on project status.
- Clean Water: Connected with another non-profit organization, Living Waters International, to build 7 wells, addressing a critical need for clean drinking water in the area. We were also able to make a donation to help fund the services of a full-time healthcare worker to train people in the area about health and hygiene.
- Shelter: Donated funds to build new homes for two families who were especially in need. One was a family of children led by their teenage brother who quit school to work in the sugarcane fields to support his three younger siblings. Their parents were lost to genocide and AIDS. The second family was a woman, her young daughter and granddaughter. Her daughter had mental disabilities and was taken advantage of. Their house was in a terrible state of disrepair and the family had no means to improve it.
- Sustainable support for orphans: Purchased land and donated cultivation tools to benefit the orphan population of Mageragere. The local Reconciliation Group is working the land to provide sustainable support to the orphan population.
- Vocational and counseling assistance: Donated 7 sewing machines to small groups who provide vocational training and counseling to young, at-risk women increasing their chances of finding employment.
- Medical supplies: Donated 28 AIDS caregiver kits.
- Food for the sick: Provided food for hospital patients as hospitals don’t have the means to feed patients. Families are left with the task of meeting the nutritional needs of sick relatives, though they can’t afford food, such as fruit, that is high in vitamins.