Twenty five orphaned families in Ntarama sector of Bugesera District on Friday officially received their own houses which were built by Rwanda Red Cross.
In a move to help reduce the suffering of many people around the country, the Rwandan branch of the Red Cross has already built about 140 houses for vulnerable people in Bugesera District, and more than 400 others in the whole of Eastern Province.
“Shelter was a very serious problem for us because 15 people had to squeeze in a small house of our friend, and we could hardly receive a visitor,” says Jeanne Umuhire, one of the beneficiaries.
Umuhire, 26, heads a family of four orphans who are now in secondary school. Standing in front of her new four-room house, she smiles as she talks about how easy life has become after being given a house by the Rwanda Red Cross.
“It’s so spacious here and we are having great time in our neighbourhood,” she comments, referring to other 24 houses around her own, all built with adobe bricks and cemented, with a cooking room, a toilet and a bathroom in the backyard.
Officials from Rwanda Red Cross say each of these houses has cost about Rwf 2, 5 million, including the inside basic materials like beds and mattresses, chairs and tables.
Dr. Bernard Nzigiye, President of Rwanda Red Cross, says that one of their core objectives is to help people get out of their misery, which is why they tried their best to at least get shelters for some orphans in that area.
“We can’t solve all the problems Rwandans are facing, but we can at least ease their hardship if we combine our efforts,” he told Red Cross volunteers and beneficiaries gathered at Nyamata centre on Friday.
Nzigiye however added that the humanitarian organisation wants to put more emphasis in sensitizing Rwandans about Family Planning policy. According to him, that would be the better way to fight poverty than just giving out houses.
“Poor people are actually the ones producing more children who are likely to become even poorer,” he said, mentioning the lack of means to access education and health care.
The same call was given by the Bugesera District Executive Secretary, Eduard Munyaburanga, who pointed out that almost 20% of Bugesera population are following the Family Planning policy, but said they are aiming at 40% by the end of this year.
“We can’t have sustainable development without controlling our population growth,” Munyaburanga said.
25 other houses are being built in Kayumba cell of Nyamata sector under the support of Rwanda Red Cross.
The Friday function also saw 150 Red Cross volunteers given bicycles to facilitate their transportation during their daily interventions.