Given below is an extract of the latest update by Meg Jenkins (pictured above) who runs the project in Kigali but is currently in UK
“There are further regulations imposed on the population, namely there is a curfew between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Children over the age of 2 must wear a mask when outside and children under the age of 14 should stay at home.
Everyone must wear a mask when out of the house, there is a system of fines for any contravention of the regulations and people can be detained to be educated about COVID for 24 hours. There is no public transport between provinces.
All this is added to the problems caused by the closure of the main markets – several of our mothers had stalls in the market and have now lost everything, Others are unable to find daily work as many projects are closed, bars and restaurants are closed in the evening, affecting the livelihoods of local bars in the neighbourhood.
Transport costs and foodstuffs are increasing – for example a moto taxi ride to town from the project cost 500 francs in March, it is now 1,200.
Schools remain closed until further notice and the government is making a survey of schools to see how provision can be made. Students could work from home with lessons online but here in the UK that has not been possible for some families, much less so in Kigali, I would say impossible for the children of the project.
There is some good news – a generous friend has paid for the registration fees for most of our secondary students and they are able to borrow books to continue with some of the things they need to know.
Our families are mainly unable to find any sustainable work and are struggling to pay rent and basic food so our food distribution is helping them keep body and soul together.
In discussion with the trustees we have decided to continue for as long as is possible with the distribution whatever the cost to our plans for development. We continue to pay staff salaries and there are general costs relating to the maintenance of the building.
Normally when I am in the UK I can raise large amounts of money through events, speaking engagements and craft sales but you will appreciate that this has been impossible this year.
We have so far made 17 distributions at a cost of approximately £50,000 or $64,000 US
15 more weeks will take us to the beginning of the year at a cost of £45,000 or $57,000 US
I have asked in Kigali if there are any families who are able to work and who may not need this level of support so that others more needy may benefit but I am more than aware that what we are doing is very little.
We are using general funds and also the donations made by sponsors to cover this cost. Obviously when the children get back to school the food distribution will cease.
We will be launching another appeal probably in October to try to generate funds for the food programme.
Thank you so very much for your continued love and support for us, we appreciate it so very much.”
Personally I would like to add a big thank you to everyone who supports the project indirectly through buying from us. All of the products that we sell from Rwanda have been made at this project whether it is a simple shopper, a beautiful African animal or a stunning basket.
If you would like to support the project through these difficult times by making a donation please follow the link below. Thank you, Chrissie