In early May I travelled to Kigali to meet with one of the biggest supporters of our Rwanda programme, Starbucks, and show them the impact they’re having on communities first-hand.
There are still 4 million people in Rwanda who don’t have access to clean water and many of them live in urban or peri-urban districts. Our programme is close to the Starbucks Farmer Support Centre, which provides local coffee farmers with resources and expertise to increase their production and reduce both cost and waste.
Together we visited Rulindo and Kicukiro, where we saw a school whose pupils were now using the new sanitation blocks we had installed, meaning that school attendance had risen dramatically because the girls had appropriate facilities and privacy when menstruating.
We also saw the machinery at the heart of our programme – a huge water pumping station that ensures piped water is provided in every community through a shared tap, with the aim that eventually every house will have it’s own connection.
When we later met Seraphine, a local villager and the President of her community water committee, the impact of that machinery became clear.
We installed a community tap in Seraphine’s village a year ago. Before that, she told us they had been walking for miles every day and paying extortionate black market rates of around 200 Rwandan Francs for 20 Litres of water that was so dirty they could see insects floating in it.
When our team arrived and told her we would be installing a tap she thought she was dreaming. Now the whole community can access clean water at an affordable rate of 20 Rwandan Francs for 20 litres, without having to walk miles to fetch it. Seraphine said that the whole community was happier and healthier – they had more time to work and attend school, and more money to spend on their daily needs.
Seraphine’s story gave us all confidence and hope that with your help, our programme can continue to change lives in Rwanda and build a brighter future for communities in need.
To help us reach more people like Seraphine, please donate to The One Foundation.