KIGALI, Rwanda, July 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rwanda's First Lady, Jeannette Kagame has inaugurated five modern houses for elderly and needy genocide widows and widowers in Nyanza district of Southern Province.
On July 3, Vestine Mukamusoni, 64, a genocide widow, and one of the beneficiaries, was overcome by emotion and sobbed as she thanked the First Lady.
"This is something I had never dreamt of," says Mukamusoni, who spent years seeking shelter in different homes, where she had often been unwelcome. Her family was killed during the genocide and all her properties destroyed.
"You can count on our undivided support," Mrs. Kagame told the widows. "We will not let you die in misery; we are here to support you in all aspects of life."
The homeless and needy Mukamusoni, together with nineteen other widows, all now have a decent home.
Each house cost Rwf 35 million ($50,000), financed by the genocide survivor's association (FARG) in partnership with the Rwanda Reserve Forces. The five units cost Rwf 175 million total ($250,000).
The giveaway is part of the conclusion of the 100-day commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
Each house has four self-contained rooms, a shared kitchen, and a 2000 litre water tank.
The spacious houses are fitted with glass windows, concrete floor and a tiled roof.
Meanwhile, about 50 genocide widows in Nyanza still lack shelter.
Lt. Col Adolphe Simbizi, the Director of Production with Reserve Forces, says the Force has built 1900 houses for genocide widows countrywide.
But these are the first houses to be constructed for genocide survivors in Nyanza.
The elderly widows' day-to-day life - which includes medical insurance, food, and accommodation - will be sponsored by AVEGA, the Association of the Widows of the Genocide, formed to help widows, orphans and others who lost family members in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
First Lady's initiative, called The Unity Club, has also helped advocate for elderly genocide widows to get good housing and low income generating activities around the country.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Kagame told the youths in the district to help elderly people and make them "not regret they survived."
Through the unity club, she said, "We will support widows to overcome trauma and also advocate for renovation of their houses."
"I have a place to call home," Mukamusoni said.
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SOURCE KT Press