Beth Adams is part of a team of young British people, who have been working with Tearfund’s partner Moucecore in Rwanda since January. The team are part of the UK government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) which allows young people aged 18-25 to contribute to long-term projects in developing countries.
On International Women’s Day the team are celebrating the life of Blandine…
As I walk through the gate into the garden, the first thing I see is the latrine complex, complete with a shower cubicle. The next, an established kitchen garden on a mound, finally I see the expanded house with the promise of further development to come. In the district of Burera, Rwanda this looks like the home of someone with great vision and exciting plans and that assumption could not be more right.
In 2001, Tearfund’s partner, Moucecore chose one individual from a community in Cyanika to receive training in transformation, unity and reconciliation, and self-development; that person was Blandine.
When I asked where the idea for water tanks came from, Blandine explains that it all started during her two weeks of training. She was asked what the biggest problem in her community was and the 11 mile walk to the disease-ridden lake had stood out to her. When the leader of the training had asked her to think of a solution to the problem, her mind was blank.
However, at 3am, after many days spent praying, she suddenly awoke with the ingenious idea of water tanks.
There are now 114 water tanks in her area and 385 people working on a variety of different schemes such as dowry support, latrine building and house construction.
She explains, ‘Life is very different now; every member has a mattress to sleep on and shelter, the children who were malnourished and over worked are now healthy and going to school, the church is better attended with individuals who have been transformed and the people are united through their aims and ambitions.’
Blandine’s prayer requests are for personal and community strength. She hopes that as much work will go into projects like the latrine one as went into the water tanks and that she personally will continue to have the vigour to be able to access many more people to speak to them about how to transform themselves and their community.
In her own words, “It’s my calling from God; I’m a volunteer on Earth.”