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.
Passi sought refuge in Uganda after the massive killings and instability caused by a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2017. “It was hard starting a new life here in the refugee settlement, with no source of income, not even water or a piece of soap.” In DRC, Passi and her husband Kibuyi Kimaga ensured the wellbeing of their family primarily through Kibuyi’s job as a security guard at a hospital in Goma. At the time of the killings, Passi was at home with the children and quickly fled to safety. She never saw the father of her children again.