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Rwanda: aid and relief charity aims to lift 10,000 families out of poverty

As the people of Rwanda prepare to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide next month, Samaritan's Purse has announced plans to help thousands of families over the next two years ...

As the people of Rwanda prepare to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide next month, Samaritan’s Purse today announced exciting plans to lift 10,000 families out of poverty throughout the country over the next two years.

The Bishop of Kigali, Rt. Revd Louis Muvunyi is currently on a speaking tour of the UK to highlight how his country is seeing the resurrection of hope through the local church, working alongside Samaritan’s Purse, 20 years after 800,000 people were slaughtered.

Bishop Louis said: “Our partnership with Samaritan’s Purse has seen churches and communities in Rwanda come together to find local solutions to challenges such as poverty, loneliness and reconciliation.”

Since 1994, Samaritan’s Purse has been on the ground providing medical care, access to clean water and sanitation to the survivors of the genocide and helped reunite over 900 children with family members.  

For the past five years, through Raising Families, Samaritan’s Purse has worked with churches in Kigali to help them establish Community Action Groups. These help them to appreciate what they have, and what they can do, as community to help themselves, encouraging the pooling of assets and resources for the common good.  

It is only through initiatives of this sort that has seen real change effected and sustainable livelihoods created for the poorest families, who are also being impacted by the gospel message through the local church.

Samaritan’s Purse UK Head of Communications Brian Bennett says they plan to impact many more families across Rwanda: "Five years ago we started our Raising Families programme with local churches in the Kigali diocese to work with families and see them lifted out of extreme poverty, giving them hope and a future. Now we plan to extend our work throughout the country over the next two years to help another 10,000 families."

Gentille’s story is typical of the many families who have been helped through Raising Families. Right from when she was a baby she faced challenges in her life as she was born with a condition where she couldn’t walk and all her life has either crawled or been in a wheelchair.  

She became an orphan when her father was killed during the genocide; her mother had already passed away. She had nothing and was without hope until the church started visiting her and praying with her, and teaching her about God.

Now the church has become her family, while helping her with vital supplies such as food and clothing for her and her little boy Samuel.

Despite her physical limitations, through a Savings and Loan initiative, the church has also helped Gentille start a small business making and selling mats.  Someone collects the reeds and grasses from the swamps, which she uses to make 3-4 mats a month, which are sold at a local market.

Bishop Louis explained why it is so important to help so many more families like Gentille’s: "We need to continue to help many more families receive these vital resources, so together we can transform our communities and end poverty among ourselves."


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