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Supporting our school families affected by heavy rains and floods

Published 24.08.23

Supporting our school families affected by heavy rains and floods

In the first week of May, heavy rains caused floods and killed 131 people in the northern; southern and western (where the school is located) provinces. In total more than 6,300 houses were either completely destroyed or damaged,14 national roads, 50 schools as well as electricity and water infrastructure were also damaged across the aforementioned provinces. 95% of the families of our school children live in different districts of the provinces that were affected, although the school was not directly affected as the rains and floods were worse in the southern part of our district, the families of our children, were affected although fortunately, no immediate family member of the children was hurt (dead or injured) apart from one family that lost a distant relative. However almost every family lost their crops to flood and landslides and this definitely could have had a negative impact on their livelihoods. 4 houses belonging to families were damaged significantly while 1 was completely wiped out by the floods. To curb the negative impact of the floods especially in terms of ensuring food security for the families and the children during the summer school holidays, in partnership with Jumelage Rhineland palatinate state-Rwanda We were able to support every family with food items as well as the five families whose houses and basic items (utensils such as mattresses, sheets, pans etc.) damaged with new items.” I have a family of seven children, my wife and I sustain our family thanks to agriculture as the land here is very fertile, unfortunately the May rains flooded our carrot farm that was meant to not only feed us by selling the harvest but also help us send our children back to school in September. We had a very big task of making sure that our seven children don’t go to bed hungry during these holidays. With the food assistance that we are receiving today we will have less of a task of finding food for the children and focus more on making sure that we are financially ready to bring them back to school in September and for that we are very grateful to the school and the partners”. Said Kabasha one of the parents. The issue of food security was the most prevalent due to the rains that had flooded parents’ farms, to curb its consequences we assisted each family with a food assistance package of 25 kgs of rice, 25kgs kgs of maize flour,5 liters of cooking oil, 10 kgs of Sugar and 5 kgs of salt this is enough to feed a big family such as Kabasha’s for several weeks. In addition to the food security issue, we also had five parents who on top of food security had another issue of housing and other basic items needed at home. For them, not only their farms but also their houses had been flooded. We assisted them by giving them the food assistance package as well as the basic items package, each family received 4 pans, 3 bed covers, 6 pairs of bed sheets, 10 spoons, 10 plates, 24 bar soaps and 3 pieces of body lotion. “ I am overwhelmed by this support, I could not have asked for more, in fact after the rains flooded my house, I spent the whole month of June sheltered in the house of my older sister along with my children, everything that we owned in the house was gone and as a lone mother I could not imagine how and when I would be able to afford to buy new materials on top of providing meals for the children after our potatoes farm had also been flooded. Since we got back to our house the conditions have been very difficult, we have been sharing the same room as a whole family as we did not have enough bed covers and sheets, we have been using just one pan to prepare the meals which had made our diet very poor, now that we have received this support the conditions are going to change dramatically for the better and I have no words that can describe how happy and thankful I am to the school and the partners who have made this happen. I am very relieved that now I can focus on paying mutuelle (Community based health insurance) funds for me and my 4 children to ensure that we are insured for this year and to make sure that my children will be able to return to school in September.” Said Agnes, one of the parents that received the basic items assistance package. The school believes that family empowerment is crucial for sustaining the educational and personal gains made by the children which is why families are an integral part of our work through various training sessions such as Rwandan Sign Language, we also offer relief assistance such as this to ensure that the families and children are protected from shocks that can arise from disasters; diseases and other emergency situations. The food assistance and basic items support project reached all our 68 families that are made of 476 persons made of parents and deaf children as well as their siblings who are not deaf. We also believe that supporting families help in terms of changing negative attitudes and beliefs that communities have towards deaf children and people with disabilities in general. “As local authorities we always welcome partners such as Nyabihu School for the Deaf who are looking to empower vulnerable people and their families by offering timely interventions and support. For instance, the assistance that you have just provided will not only help these families but also us as the local authority indirectly it will be easier for these families to pay the health insurance for this year as they will have spare funds and that will definitely help us in terms of achieving our targets for insured families in our areas, therefore when you think about it broadly, this project will have an impact that will go beyond the direct beneficiaries alone. We thank you for this great initiative and for having joined hands with us in terms of relieving and helping the families that were affected by the recent terrible rains and floods.” Said Placide Bizimana the executive secretary of Mukamira Sector where the school is located.


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