Food for the Hungry, a Christian international humanitarian and development organization has donated foodstuffs and hygiene supplies to Congolese people who fled to Rwanda, following the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano. The aid, which included hand sanitizers, soap and face masks for Covid-19 prevention, was also given to Rwandans displaced by earthquakes that followed the eruption.
Nyiragongo eruption in the evening hours of May 22, 2021, forced thousands of people to flee the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Alice Kamau, the Country Director for Food for the Hungry, said giving support to those in need was important because it is the organizational mission to reduce human suffering.
“The Congolese who fled the volcanic eruption and Rwandans affected by tremors are going through a hard time. Many of them are women and children under five years old. So, we needed to respond immediately by channeling our donation through Caritas Nyundo, who will distribute the aid to the families in need, ” Kamau said.
The director of Caritas Nyundo Diocese, Fr Jean-Paul Rutakisha said both Rwandans and Congolese affected by the volcanic eruption were in immediate need of relief.
“We commend Food for the Hungry for their timely initiative to give a hand to the people who need it,” Rutakisha said.
Recipients of the relief aid said they were appreciative for the support.
“I am very thankful to the people who thought of us in the hard we’re going through; they gave us blankets, soap and food so that our children will eat today,” said Janviere Uwase, a resident of Rubavu District, whose was completely destroyed by tremors. She added that they would need support to rehabilitate collapsed houses.
For Abdoulkarim Maniraguha and her sister, they had lost hope after their houses collapsed.
“Now that we have been given food aid, we are hopeful that we will also be able to rebuild our house,” Maniraguha said.
Beatrice Mushimiyimana, the head of finance department at Food for the Hungry Rwanda highlighted the domains of interventions in which the charity organization is involved in.
“Our activities are in health focusing more on maternal and child health; education sector; agriculture and livelihoods and disaster risk reduction” she said.
Food for the Hungry (FH) association is an international, Christian organization. Founded in 1971, FH implements relief and development programs in 18 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
In 1994, FH began working in Rwanda when it entered under the Child Wins strategy responding to the serious humanitarian crisis caused by the Tutsi genocide. In the immediate years following, FH implemented emergency programs in tracing and unifying children with their families, agriculture interventions, emergency food and non-food item distributions and livelihoods support.
Since 2001, FH has focused efforts on long-term development work including livelihoods, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, disaster risk reduction and education. FH believes in holistic methods to address poverty, honouring the people it serves by inviting them to contribute to the process.
Currently FH works in 6 Districts of Rwanda (Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango Ngororero) and Kigali