Rwanda, my beloved, just celebrate 26 years of liberation. The day came around with reminders of where Rwanda is coming from, but most importantly, a reminder of the responsibility we all have to build the Rwanda We Want.
At Water Access Rwanda, we once celebrated liberation day when the average age of our staff, our water warriors, was 28 years old. It was a beautiful connection then to learn that it was that same average age that RPF members had when they liberated Rwanda in 1994.
The Rwanda We Want, for ourselves, and for our fellow citizen is at the heart of our Water Warriors. We imagine a future where all can access water in their homes through taps and without walking for it or spending hours purifying that water. Piped water, such a simple gift of technology, is still largely reserved for the urban areas, the inner organized urban areas.
With our mini-grids, we create decentralized water infrastructure, that finally allows such access to be possible in even the most remote areas, non-planned settlements and rural villages.
We are daily encouraged by stories of our clients who have had the weight of fetching water daily lifted from them, the daily hours completely liberated to enjoy as they please. We hear from clients who moved into their current housing choice only because our water brought a piped water connection in that area. We also hear from clients, who for years only had dirty water access from crocodile infested lakes. I still face regret when I remember that some died at the hands of crocodiles, if only we had arrived earlier.
COVID19 brought about an opportunity for us to work within a humanitarian setting in helping our clients face the crisis head on. Able to social distance and handwash at home, several have come to see even more value in the private tap connection they now enjoy.
As this unfolds, water warriors remain committed to offering the best level of service at home, and that is the effort we have stepped up. It is not just in response to COVID19, but in response to all water borne diseases, time waste and poverty that traps families without access to clean water. The Rwanda WE WANT has full safely managed water available to all citizens and is a model for Africa in this regard.
Like many businesses, we took a hit during this crisis. A terrible one that delayed several of our scaling plans, and threw some out of the window: all this during a time when our hearts were more committed than ever and when the need was more urgent than any other.
This drove me on an advocacy run, trying to mobilize as much support as I could manage to help us keep moving. It hurts terribly to seat with a solution. Several responded and I am so grateful for amazing organizations like Segal Family Foundation, Islamic Development Bank (Transform Fund) and Vital Voices that stepped in to help us through and reach more people. There are many others, I wait to hear from, and I always go to sleep excited at the possibly that they all come through, but afraid of the pain in my gut that the answer will be no. I put FAITH in God for providence.
We have been encouraged as we see some recovery within this covid19 crisis, because it is imperative to our mission and our vision for Africa that our mini-grids be financially lucrative for the many that will see them as good investment vehicles leading to massive investment flowing into the much needy water sector. If you would like to help us continue beating this crisis by empowering communities, schools, churches, and households with clean, safe to drink piped water, please reach out.
HAPPY LIBERATION DAY Rwanda.
And to the Youth: Continue working hard for the Rwanda we Want.