On Wednesday 9 September 2021, members of Jesuit Urumuri Centre staff made their way to Ubumwe village of Gitega sector in Kigali, for a handover of equipment to beneficiaries of the women empowerment program. The program dubbed “Long walk to recovery; post covid-19” was initiated as a second phase of the emergency food relief program “Leaving no one behind: Emergency Response to COVID-19 Crisis” ran by the Centre in May, June and July 2020 for the purpose of accompanying the poorest and most vulnerable families to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this, the Centre selected 50 representatives of said families to train in financial literacy and vocational training in baking, tailoring and hairdressing. On this particular day the Centre handed over tailoring equipment to a group of 9 beneficiaries consisting of 8 women and 1 man.
Present at this handover event were the parish priest of St Peter Cyahafi Fr. Edison Akatuhurira, the social welfare agent for Ubumwe village Mrs Jeanette Mukagasore, the president of St Francis of Assis basic ecclesial community in St Peter’s Parish Cyahafi Mr. Alfred Kubwimana, the president of the Justice and Peace commission in St. Peter Cyahafi Parish Mr. Jean Louis Hakizimana, JUC assistant director Mr. Pierre Nyandwi SJ, JUC financial assistant Ms Gloriose Umubyeyi and 9 members of the tailoring group.
Ms Gloriose Umubyeyi was first to address the beneficiaries as she took the time to display every single item that the Centre had purchased for the group of beneficiaries. These included 9 sewing machines, thread, pins and needles, notebooks, measuring tapes, irons, fabric and more.
Following this, Ms. Sylvine Uwonkunda a representative of the beneficiaries spoke on their behalf thanking the Centre and the parish for their collaboration in accompanying herself and her colleagues; “From the bottom of our hearts we thank Jesuit Urumuri Centre for an initiative such as this one. Because of you, our families have a chance at decent lives. Our children will finally go back to school, may the almighty enable you to keep doing the good work that you do and help even more others like ourselves”
Also speaking at this event, Fr. Edison expressed his gratitude to the staff of JUC remarking on the long standing partnership that the Centre has with his parish; “This is not the first time that the Centre has come to our aid. Even last year at the height of the corona virus pandemic, the Jesuits helped us with emergency food relief for the most vulnerable members of our community. I would like to thank them for their continued support and for this time giving our vulnerable women some much needed skills to gain an income and support their families. We ask them to continue thinking of us and accompanying the poor in our communities for the greater glory of God”.
Following this, Pierre Nyandwi, SJ, took the time to re-assure all present, of the Jesuits’ commitment to accompanying the down trodden of the society; “On behalf Jesuit Urumuri Centre, we are very concerned about the well-being of the members of our Society. We were particularly concerned by the loss of jobs that many of you experienced due to the outbreak of the Corona-virus. Our hope is that having been trained and having received this equipment will improve your lives and those of your family members and therefore improve your general standard of living. We continue to pray for you and we will support you in any other way that we can”.
Mrs Jeanette Mukagasore also spoke on behalf of Ubumwe village assuring the beneficiaries of the village’s full support in their businesses, following which Fr. Edison gave blessings and concluded the event.