BugeseraIn 1999 drought hit the Bugesera area (southern Rwanda) and the first ever project of "Comfort Rwanda" was initiated, this was to provide food, seeds and tools for three Bugesera Solace survivors groups at Ntarama, Kibungo and Kayumba.
The three groups make up the project and their names are: Ntarama group - Abahuje umutima - "Those who are of the same heart (in Christ)" Kibungo group - Dutabarane - "Let us help one another" Kayumba group - Twisungane - "Let us support each other"
In 2006 Jim Bell and supporters from Living Waters Church and elsewhere funded an exciting integrated community development project which purchased three areas of land for farming, sent students to secondary school and university, bought cattle and built ten high quality houses to form "Comfort Village". One of the cows was called "igisubiza" which means answer "because God has heard our cries and answered us", said the widow who was given the cow.
The agricultural project led to over 30,000 vegetable plants and several thousand fruit trees and pineapple plants being planted. Many years later the "offspring" of those original plants are still multiplying and providing new seed and cuttings for further crops and fruit.
In 2012 a bee-keeping project was initiated with the objective of developing a new income stream from honey production.
Comfort Rwanda also introduced Drop Inn Ministries to Solace and Drop Inn subsequently built the wonderful community centre by the main road to Nyamata.
Mary, the leader at Kibungo, Bugesera, said, "They found us in deep sorrow and they comforted us. We were scattered and they brought us together and then supported us in activities". Gracia, the leader of the Kayumba group, says, "After the genocide we were all traumatised and we were completely devastated. The first fruit we saw was comfort and consolation and being brought together. People were hungry for food, but our hearts were most hungry. We did not change our clothes for weeks, but after we were comforted we realised we could live on and we decided to work. It was really a blessing because our seeds produced a lot for the future because this was a kind of incentive for future work and production".