Friday, 17 November 2017

My dearest Rutsiro,

Some call me a quiet person, a shy person but I am none of those names. Call me Fiacre, a young man passionate about bringing positive changes in the community, I am currently volunteering with International Service in Rutsiro, Western province of Rwanda. I am working with KOPAKAMA, a coffee farming co-operative. The co-operative produces green coffee, which is their main product and they are looking to start producing roasted organic coffee.

Community integration

How is it that over the course of 2 months, you have stolen my heart more than I thought? How is it that I’ve fallen more in love with you than I have been with anything else on earth?
Being with you has truly been like falling in love. At first, everything was so new and exciting –When I arrived in Rutsiro District, I was like Huuum! Am I going to stay here for 3 months? The answer was “let me give it a try”! With a friendly environment, little by little I was able to get familiar with this community. Though sometimes, I was called UMUSEMUZI (a translator), which I did not feel comfortable with, but as time went on, things went well.

Now, it has been 5 weeks since I arrived in Rutsiro. I am with an awesome team, which is ready to do whatever it takes as far as empowering the community is concerned.

Coming from the community work
One of the things I really enjoyed with the team so far was participating in the community work known as “UMUGANDA”. Normally in Rwanda, every last Saturday of the month, the community joins hands to participate in different activities that contribute to the development of the country. During the Umuganda, we were honored to be part of Mushubati community, where we helped them to remove weed from along the local road.

We also participated in dry mill inauguration event that was organized by KOPAKAMA. During the inauguration, we were able to meet different partners and stakeholders of KOPAKAMA including TWIN representative and Misozi…… The funniest activity we enjoyed as team was testing coffee, which was quiet interesting.

Dry meal inauguration

Another thing done as a team, we travelled to Rubavu, a city with beautiful beaches, trees and nice view. The aim of the trip was team bonding. We visited Calafia café Gisenyi and TAM TAM beach.
Additionally, it was great pleasure to provide an English class to the local community, which is done every Wednesday of the week. The community enjoys the class session which motivates the team as the facilitators.

English class carried by Beth and Fiacre

A lot has been achieved even though we encountered many challenges in the fourth week of our placement. However, as I always say “life is a learning curve”! Challenges are there to help us improve and now we are ready to turn the page. The mid-term review is coming close where we are going to meet Huye team to share what we have been working on and identify the gaps and see how we can improve in order to accomplish our plans. 

Of course, there is a long way to go as we are only remaining with not more than 4 weeks but I always believe that when the team is committed, the sky is not the limit. Let me say we are on track! 

BUHORO BUHORO (Step by Step).

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