Pooling resources to celebrate Christmas

Christmas and the New Year are feasts that are always in the minds of many Christians who glorify the birth of Jesus Christ, while many always want to celebrate end of the year.
Residents of Nkotsi Sector in Musanze after sharing rice for the festive season. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)
Residents of Nkotsi Sector in Musanze after sharing rice for the festive season. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)

Christmas and the New Year are feasts that are always in the minds of many Christians who glorify the birth of Jesus Christ, while many always want to celebrate end of the year.

To celebrate, most people, especially those in the countryside, will buy delicacies that are not on their usual menu, drinks and new clothes for children; an expense that most would certainly not easily afford, hence improvising.

The New Times made a visit in some of the rural parts of Musanze and Burera districts to get the feel of how prepared people were for the Day.

“Christmas and New Year are events that come once a year. They both carry great importance for us, so despite the poverty, we need to seek ways of raising the money to make sure our families enjoy,” said Assumani Ntirikwendera, from Cyanika Sector in Burera District.

Ntirikwendera, 80, said he joined other people to form a group of 15 and have been saving.

Each contributes depending on their means, and when festive season approaches, they pool together their savings and feast as a community.

“One contributes whatever they have; I used to contribute between Rwf100 and Rwf200 per month,” he said.

“We buy two cows and share meat in our community, one is slaughtered on Christmas Day, and the other is for New Year. These are the only times when most of us eat meat throughout the year.”

“We also use the money to buy other foodstuff like rice as well as drinks.”

Jacqueline Nyiransabimana, from Nkotsi Sector in Musanze District, founded a group called “Turwanye bwaki mu ngo zacu,” to fight malnutrition in their families.

But the group has also been a channel through which they engage in savings to plan for festive seasons.

She said the group has helped them save more money and they are ready to celebrate during the festive season.

Nyiransabimana said through their contributions, they have managed to buy a tonne of rice and will buy meat and other food items for the occasion.

“This small saving group has helped us not only fight malnutrition but also plan for celebration of the festive season with joy. Our families, especially the children, are happy during this season,” she said.

jmbonyinshuti@newtimes.co.rw

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