One day during the spring, when Rwanda was under total quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Olivier, 16, and his family were indoors at home, keeping an eye on the water that seeped under the door. It happened often when it rained. But this was not a normal rain.
“We were having some tea so that we could warm our bodies,” remembers Olivier. An hour later, they ran out of the house as the walls came crumbling down during a landslide.
Besides their house being destroyed, their garden — their source of livelihood — was also swept away. “Olivier’s family was about to harvest several food crops, like potatoes, beans, carrots and much more, which they would have sold and gotten an income,” says John, director of the Compassion center Olivier attends, “but it was all washed away by the floods.”
Compassion’s partner church is committed to all the children in its care, and quickly came to help. They moved the family temporarily into a school building. They brought food, including beans, rice, posho and cooking oil, and sanitation kits. And until the family is back on their feet, they continue to cover their essential needs and check on their well-being.
“My family and I are grateful to the Compassion center staff for standing with us during the tough times. We have received love and encouragement from them,” Olivier says.
“We are so grateful for the partnership we have with Compassion because we can provide support to our community in times of a crisis,” says John. “Olivier’s house will be renovated after the partial lockdown is lifted. We will give them seedlings for planting food crops.”