GakagatiGakagati village, in the northeast of Rwanda, was established to provide a homeland for refugees returning from Tanzania after the 1994 genocide.
Establishing a primary school in the community has been our major focus. When our partner Paul Ndahigwa from The Living Church first visited the area he found the village devoid of education for the children who, he said, "spent their time chasing monkeys". He gathered the parents together and set up a school under a tree. Comfort Rwanda & Congo have been working with The Living Church to build classrooms. Four classrooms have been completed, the last being significantly larger and doubling as a community hall and adult literacy centre. Comfort Rwanda & Congo has also provided blackboards and benches for the school. Our next challenge is to step up the classroom quality and build classrooms with brick.
We support over 50 children from the poorest families to attend the school which has managed to attract government support for the teachers.
We are grateful to Chryston Parish and Penicuik South churches who have a partnership with the Gakagati community project, and also to many others have supported the work in the community there.
The work has demonstrated healing and reconciliation. Gakagati was largely populated by Hutu refugees, including people involved in the 1994 genocide. The children of these refugees have been joined at the school by genocide survivors children from a nearby village also for returning refugees.
One of the fruits of the work has been the planting of a now thriving church at Gakagati. We have had the privilege of being involved in several meetings including baptismal services at one of the local water holes.
Showing real dedication and love Emmanuel and Janet from The Living Church moved to Gakagati to oversee the work there. We have supported them with the purchase of land for farming.
We have funded a well which was dug next to Gakagati but unfortunately, despite much effort, the well has been unsuccessful. However, due to the persistence of our supporters in pushing for water provision there is now a clean water pipeline in progress for Gakagati.