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Witnessing courage, strength and determination in Iraq

The Islamic State (ISIS) caused havoc when they seized 40% of Iraq. They invaded the country in 2014 and ruthlessly destroyed basic infrastructures and businesses. The word ‘sad’ doesn’t really describe what I witnessed; it was heart wrenching! It has already been 4 years since ISIS was defeated, yet as you drive by the streets of Qaraqosh, there are still reminders of the destruction ISIS caused.

Mukantibenda Agnes, keeping her community united

Agnes Mukantibenda, 50 years old, is married and has five children and three grandchildren. AVSI met her in 2013 when we launched an Early Education Center in her village, Munyinya, in Gicumbi, a district in Northern Rwanda. Since the beginning, she 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 of 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.