Claudine Mukakabanda, 58, built her house with the help of her husband and was married with seven children before the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
During the genocide she lost all people she cared for remaining with only one son whom she has lived with for the last 23 years.
With time, age and lack of employment, her house- located in Kacyiru sector, Gasabo district started getting demolished by heavy rains but she invested in small repairs until she gave up ten years ago.
“I tried my best to work on the house but I stopped because I was struggling to survive. Whenever it rained, I wouldn’t sleep, I only prayed worried that the house would fall on top of me in the night” Mukakabanda said.
Her concerns were notified to the community leaders but lack of finances deterred any effort to support her. She needed at least Rwf8million to repair her four roomed house.
“This concern was however addressed to Rwanda Red Cross (RRC) and she was selected among the genocide survivors to be helped during this genocide commemoration” said Emmanuel Kayijamahe, the Red Cross- Gasabo district coordinator.
“This morning, I was shocked when I saw Red Cross staff and community members bringing stones, sand and started to work on the house. I thought I was dreaming” Mukakabanda said.
Led by Apollinaire Karamanga, the Rwanda Red Cross Secretary General, over 100 volunteers in Kigali city put their hands together to start reconstruction works on Mukakabanda’s home- located in Iriba cell,
The volunteers carried gravel stone, sand and laid a wall foundation around Mukakabanda’s house- which has walls that have for years been falling apart.
“Within a month, her house will not be the same again. Our volunteers and community members will make sure her house is completed so that she can be safe. Our intention is to improve people’s welfare and this is one of the many we intend to support throughout this year.” said Karamaga.
Rwanda Red Cross is part of the non-governmental organisations that have played a major role in supporting genocide survivors through Corporate Social Responsibility during the 100 days of this year’s genocide commemoration which started April 7th and ends in July.
So far the Red Cross has focused on supporting 60 genocide survivors in Kacyiru sector. In April, the organization rehabilitated houses belonging to genocide widows and donated tailoring equipment, food items and clean water sources.