On March 14, 2020 the first cases of the coronavirus were identified in Rwanda. Like many other countries across the globe, the Rwandan government put measures in place to limit the spread of virus. These measures include limiting the gathering of large groups of people and closing schools.
Following official health guidelines, Rising Above the Storms closed the center and requested that the kids stay at their family homes. The four kids who live at the center do continue to stay there and are respecting the lockdown.
All of our staff are also staying home. Yvette Uyisabye, the Office Administrator and Counselor, continues to communicate with others and manage the center online. Fred Gatete, the Accountant and Counselor, is staying near the center and continues to check in on the children who live there. He visits the center twice a week to buy food for the children and provide any basic needs.
However, these visits are about more than just grocery shopping. It’s about keeping them engaged on the latest developments.
For instance, during one of his visits Fred talked to the children about washing their hands and the importance of social distancing two meters from each other. He also tests their knowledge with questions such as, “Do you know why there is a lockdown in Rwanda?’ The kids responded with a resounding “yes” and continued by listing the symptoms of the coronavirus. These questions are also followed up with how they feel about being asked to stay at the center and not go to school.
“At the center, we continue to stay at home, regularly wash our hands with soap and water, social distance, rest, stay involved in home activities to reduce stress, revise our notes, and play individually to keep ourselves busy.”
– Fred Gatete, Accountant and Counselor
All of our employees, responsible of Amahoro Builders and active volunteers are staying connected online to stay informed about the four children at the center and the kids who are at home with their families.
So no matter where you are…
Stay home. Wash your hands reguarly. Keep social distancing. Pray. AMAHORO (be peaceful).