As of this morning, there are now 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Rwanda.
We are grateful that the Rwandan Ministry of Health is being proactive in slowing down the rate of new infections throughout the country. As of Saturday (March 21), for a two-week initial period, all borders are closed. All non-essential businesses are closed, travel between cities and districts is suspended and unnecessary movement outside of homes is not permitted. There are exceptions in place for essential services and personnel.
Yesterday, Rwanda received its first shipment of coronavirus test kits and prevention materials from a Chinese billionaire. Jack Ma, who has donated materials to 54 African nations. We are encouraged by this contribution and hope to continue seeing the generosity of support to the vulnerable of this world. You can read the article here.
In honoring the mandate of the Ministry of Health, the women we employ have been sent home. Our rabbit caregivers and shepherds will be living on-site, continuing to offer 24-hour care for our animals. Our counseling staff will be available to the women who have phones until everyone can return to work.
Although we are grateful and in 100% support of the efforts being put in place by the Ministry of Health, we also know April is coming. April represents the annual memorial period for the Genocide against the Tutsi, which occurred in 1994. Although the Rwanda genocide happened 26 years ago, we still witness increased PTSD during this time of remembrance. The isolation that has come with Covid-19 is, unfortunately, bringing a swift reminder of that time as witnessed in this message I received yesterday.
“For us, we stay home without moving around, it seems like the time during Genocide and we are very scared!”
We stand firm on the commitment to continue paying full-time salaries to our entire staff as we walk together through the next few weeks or months.
While we understand the challenges and burdens this crisis has placed on many of our donors, we want to communicate how great the need for provision is at this time. We are and will be highly dependent on donor contributions over the coming weeks.
Whether you are a one-time donor, an annual donor, part of the TVM family of monthly contributors or if you are simply praying for us, please know how extremely grateful we are for your support. We will continue to keep you posted on the ever-changing conditions in Rwanda.
Please join us as we continue to seek God for the needed provision and as we pray for the most vulnerable throughout the world. We are grateful for your continued prayers over our ministry.
Diana and the Handspun Hope Family