It is Friday Afternoon. We are at Don Bosco Gatenga Youth Centre which is located in Kigali City. Needy persons and young acrobats are coming to the centre to receive some kilograms of Maize flour and 10 Kilograms of beans.
This is the donation that Salesians are handing over to these 30 beneficiaries. Though not much, Salesians distributed them based on the effects that COVID 19 has had to these categories of people among them are old ones and young acrobats who have faced the pandemic impacts including food shortage in their respective families.
This aid donated to these beneficiaries was purchased on local market, thanks to the Anymore Onlus benefactors who donated a financial support to the Salesians of Don Bosco in order to be able to at least provide food to these young people and their elders whose living conditions were aggravated by the impacts of COVID 19 pandemic.
As they said, the pandemic has halted almost the way they used to live. In the normal Circumstances, young people used to come at the centre for oratory services. These have stopped. Elders used to come at the church for regular prayers; today churches are closed across the country.
Beneficiaries speak out
“My name is Kajeguhakwa Thadee, we have been seriously affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. We are no longer able to celebrate the Eucharistic mass. It is not easy to meet and interact as we used to. Really, this is the first time at my age experiencing such a disease.” Kajeguhakwa Narrates.
“My name is Mukanyarwaya Veneranda, I express my gratitude to these people who help us in this critical time. It was very difficult. But, with the love of God, I thank them so much.”
These people have really been affected by the pandemic emotionally and spiritually. They told Father Innocent Gatete, Director of Don Bosco Gatenga Youth Centre that really, they want to be back to church as they used to.
However, the Salesians of Don Bosco have also to follow the measures that were put in place by the Government of Rwanda, prohibiting churches to open during this time in order to avoid possible COVID 19 virus contamination.
Father Gatete Innocent said: “Absolutely, I am not going to predict that the reopening of church is going to happen soon. But, church leaders, our superiors are working closely with the Government authorities to fix the time for the reopening of Churches.”
In Rwanda, the Government has started to gradually ease the COVID 19 lockdown.
With the resumption of some key activities, Salesians also are working with limited travel movement while focusing much efforts in advocating for needy citizens who have been affected most by the pandemic.
Since the first day, the Salesians of Don Bosco through the Planning and development Office have continuously knocked on various doors across the countries seeking the support to be able to cater for the needy citizens in this province which is made of three countries namely Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
Really, benefactors have not left the Salesians of Don Bosco during the critical moment when even their countries were being heavily devastated by the deadly COVID 19 pandemic.
“I am Father Gaudence Murasandonyi, Salesian of Don Bosco working here in Gatenga Youth Centre also in charge of the Chapel. We send our special gratitude to our benefactors throughout our province. We have so many needy persons around our centre. Keep your support to us so we can be able to give a hand to more needy persons who need you.”
ABOUT ANYMORE ONLUS
ANYMORE Onlus was born in 2003 after a strong experience lived in Bosnia Herzegovina with the AGESCI Sarajevo Project. ANYMORE Onlus was created with the aim of promoting the values of peace, justice and human rights, through awareness and solidarity initiatives in favor of the populations affected by the Balkan conflict.
In the following years, horizons widen and, individually or in groups, new experiences of international volunteering are lived.
The first collaborations in Italy and abroad sprout and grow and some gestures of reciprocity.
Cooperation projects are activated in Eritrea and Rwanda, and most recently in Gambia, while efforts in integration, interculture and the fight against mafias continue in Italy.
The activities are mainly based on the voluntary work of the members and are financed by public fundraising campaigns and contributions from local authorities.Ange de la Victoire Dusabemungu