Realtors Are People Too!
Rwandans Benefit from Local Generosity
By Dennis Lafayette
Travel from Twain Harte to Rwanda takes about 23-33 hours, depending on route and transfers. In March I flew from San Francisco to Toronto to Addis Abba, Ethiopia, and landed in Kigali, Rwanda, 29 hours later. My reason for going is simple, to help the poorest of the poor.
Rwanda is a small country in the center of Africa, about the size of Maryland. It is the most densely populated country in Africa, with a population of about 13 million people. The city of Kigali is the capital with over a million people amid lush hills and valleys. The local saying in Rwanda is “every house has a view” and I might add it’s beautiful.
Being close to the equator and at an average elevation of about 4000’ the year round temperature is in the 80’s. The rains come around April and again in October and it’s amazing, with thunder and lightning like I’ve never seen.
The genocide in 1994 devastated this impoverished country and today the effects are still felt. So, what exactly is it like? It’s actually a little bit of everything. In Kigali, they have paved main roads and dirt roads in side streets, running water most times and power through out and lots and lots of people everywhere who are very friendly. The 4 main languages spoken in descending order are Kinyarwanda, French, English and Swahili. Once you’re out of Kigali things change quickly. The main two lane highways are paved and power and water don’t extend too far off the highways. To put it in the larger perspective 35% (about 3.4 million) of the nation doesn’t have drinkable water and almost half of the nation is without waste facilities.
Children, pregnant women and the weak are the most susceptible to fatal illnesses resulting from these inadequacies. Over 3,000 children die each year from dysentery alone.
Now we come to the reason for me, a husband (47 years), grandfather and realtor in Twain Harte CA. going to Rwanda. There is a great need for clean water in many remote villages throughout Rwanda, where millions of people exist without the basic necessities of life. I’ve been asked to help by a native couple and I can’t and won’t turn my back on them. Water is the most basic need, but their needs go far beyond water. Below are a few of the project needs I’m working on.
- The goat fund, $40 buys 1 goat and I’ll match it, so now it’s 2 goats.
- Roof for the church, will enable food distribution, medical services and a school, $20,000.
- Well drilling equipment from www.wholives.org will be given in order to drill many wells and start a business, $20,000
100% of all monies donated are used in Rwanda. Gifts are tax deductible. Checks can be made out and sent to: International Medicine Group, 16572 S. Creekside Dr. Sonora CA. 95370
See on line at PayPal: International Medicine Group, Inc.