Agnes Mukantibenda, 50 years old, is married and has five children and three grandchildren. We met her in 2013 when AVSI Rwanda launched an Early Education Center in her village, Munyinya, in Gicumbi, a district in Northern Rwanda. Since the beginning, Agnes has been one of the most active parents involved in the activities of the center. In 2015, she became the chairperson of the committee “Tumurengere.” One of Agnes’ children was part of the AVSI distance support program. She was so glad that her son could study that she decided to volunteer to help other children receive the same opportunity. Her job is to regularly visit 12 vulnerable families in two villages (Kabeza and Rwamushumba). During her visits, she learns and checks on how children and parents are doing, and if they have any specific needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped her commitment.
Agnes is one of the 91 community volunteers involved in the new AVSI Rwanda project funded by the European Union to support around 2,000 people in five districts (Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Ruhango and Nyanza). The goal is to provide emergency support during the COVID-19 pandemic and guarantee a sustainable development once the crisis has passed.
Agnes distributes food kits to the families and monitors the children who are out of school until September 2020 through helping them follow the radio lessons broadcasted by the Ministry of Education. Thanks to the EU-funded project, if families cannot afford a radio, Agnes provides them with one.