Rwanda | Nyaruguru district: RPF Youth members start providing shelter to vulnerable genocide survivors
Marceline Mukakabera is now a thrilled person after close to 200 RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) youth members in Kibeho sector of Nyaruguru district, Southern Rwanda, started laying the foundation for her house last Saturday, marking the beginning of an end to her ten year-shelter less life.
Mukakabera, 66, survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi along with her two children, a boy and girl. Her husband and three other children were less lucky to survive.
For nearly seven years, from late 1994 (after RPFâ€™s military wing halted the Genocide) up to 2001, Mukakabera had been living with her brother in the Huye town district, just next door to her native Nyaruguru district.
The same year, in 2001, she decided to make it to her native village again, where her house had been earlier reduced to ashes and her property looted during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
â€œGood-hearted people I met here [in her Kibeho village] have been paying for me the Rwf 15,000 [about 25$] worth rent each monthâ€, she said.
After ten years, in August 2011, the turn of events took another, worrying twist for Mukakabera. Her land-lord evicted her of the rented house because, as she put it, â€œhe also needed it [house]â€ â€“ leaving Mukakabera in a situation where she had nowhere else to live other than in a makeshift shelter.
The now one year old trend for Mukakabera is to be reversed tough once and for all, come 17 November, according Ildephonse Nsanzimana, chairman of RPF youth members in Nyaruguru district.
â€œOn 17 November 2012, she [Marceline Mukakabera] will enter her new, fully-completed houseâ€, Nsanzimana said straight away.
By the time, the cemented, three-roomed house â€“ which will also have a veranda, a sitting-room and, separately, a kitchen and a toilet â€“ will have cost an estimated Rwf 5,600,000 (about 10,000$), Nsanzimana disclosed.
It sounds good news for Mukakabera.
â€œI thank God for giving me such charitable people who thought about building me a house. May God bless themâ€, she said, sitting down some five meters away, gazing at a crowd with spades and hoes working on what will have turned into her house come November 17.
â€œEven if my house would be one-roomed, itâ€™s better than rentingâ€, Mukakabera added.
Saturdayâ€™s RPF youth communal work in Nyaruguru district is part of a wide range of activities ahead of December 15, when Rwandaâ€™s ruling party will be celebrating its 25 years anniversary.
Similar communal works are reported to have taken place in other 29 of the countryâ€™s 30 districts on Saturday.
In Nyaruguru district specifically, Dr. Evariste Namahungu, a delegate from the countryâ€™s RPF General Secretariat and himself a native of Nyaruguru, praised the gathering for taking part in the communal work. Mayor FranÃ§ois Habitegeko of Nyaruguru district even went an extra mile to promise a cow to Mukakabera to help her in the new life.