When we came to visit Annete she was sitting on the floor of her two-room house organizing the bag of clothes a friend from church had donated to her. It is rare that any of our friends in Kangondo—a slum nestled in between two of Kigali’s wealthiest neighborhoods—are able to find work, so Annette’s gift of clothes to sell on the streets will be a huge blessing to her this month as she strives to provide for herself and her three children on her own. However, Rwanda’s recent crackdown on street vendors creates a big risk for her and our other friends who make a living selling clothes, produce, and other goods on the street. Abandoned by an abusive husband for another women, unable to find a stable job, unable to pay for school fees for her children or health insurance for her family—Annette’s story is not uncommon among the women we meet here.
At Word Made Flesh Rwanda, we are working with our friends at a local church to build relationships in this vulnerable community. As we create friendships here, we also want to provide opportunities for these women to thrive and discover their identity in Christ. Through a partnership with a local Anglican church, we have helped 20 women in the community form a savings and credit association, and we are working to provide vocational training, counseling, and a weekly bible study for this same group.
WMF Rwanda is committed to walking alongside our friends in Kangondo. As a new WMF field we are still getting our feet wet, but we look to the future with hope.