In the wake of COVID 19 pandemic, Burundian population from Rukago Parish was desperate wondering what they can do to prevent the negative consequences of Corona virus while at the same time the Salesian missionaries in the country also was in the same mood thinking about what can be done to help this population whose large number of people are poor.
The situation could have been aggravated by COVID 19 impacts really if there was no benefactors hand in saving that vulnerable population.
As immediate response, the Salesian mission in Rukago Parish worked closely with the Planning and Development Office and came up with the Preventive project against COVID 19 which was fortunate to get funded by the Salesian benefactors from the Procure of New Rochelle in the United States of America (USA).
This project was funded at the appropriate time to enable the people of Rukago put into practice individual and community hygiene measures.
Father Raphaël Katanga, Econome the Salesian Community in Rukago explains that “With the funding of this project we have also supported some vulnerable families from the indigenous group, who were at risk of facing food shortage due to the limited circulation of goods and people.”
The Funding for this project helped Salesians to achieve the objectives set where eight churches, fifteen schools and Don Bosco Oratory have hand washing facilities. Also a group of vulnerable families received the food support.
This project benefits about 65,000 Christians of the parish of Rukago of all ages: the oldest, adults, young people and children.
It is very difficult to give an exact number of people who benefit from this magnificent project which targets personal and community hygiene in order to fight against the COVID 19 pandemic and diseases that can be caused by lack of hygiene.
Father Kanga added that “Installing hand washing points in front of churches, offices, schools and playgrounds; this project becomes an effective means of fighting the pandemic of Corona virus while giving the local population the hope of living.”
“Currently, the people of Rukago are already used to washing their hands before entering church, class, office …” He noted.
The parish of Rukago has prepared the local population for the preventive fight against this pandemic through sensitization given to the church, social networks and messaging systems (SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook …).
Father Katanga revealed that “Despite the current successful completion of this project, we encountered certain difficulties based on daily habits. Some people did not digest well the new practice of washing their hands before entering the classroom, the office, a church … But, with several awareness sessions, the population has acculturated this practice.”
Currently, the Salesian parish of Rukago is counted among the areas of the country where children, parents, teachers, pupils and other members of the community have access to hand washing facilities and this is a source of joy for the local administrative authorities.