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Living in Kigali, Rwanda, Gloriose Uwamahoro and her husband Karekezi Jean Pierre are no strangers to hardship and hard work.
Driven by a dream to send their three children to a good school, Gloriose sells vegetables and water in a kiosk and Karekezi sells vegetables at a market. It’s a full day’s work. They often return home late at night, but thankful for the blessings they have.
“Our country went through a lot,” Gloriose says. “Though I say that our country has made progress, development is still essential, and it is ongoing.”
They faced many challenges. Their daughter was malnourished—like many other children in their village. Then Gloriose joined Gikuriro, a project funded by the U.S. government and led by Catholic Relief Services to support the Rwandan government’s efforts to combat malnutrition.
In Gikuriro, Gloriose learned how to prepare balanced meals for her children. She also learned about the importance of good hygiene. She shared these and other skills—like how to grow a kitchen garden—with her husband so they could support their children together.
“Parents have to pull together … because they are our responsibility,” Gloriose says about caring for their children.
She later joined a CRS-led micro-savings group and learned how loans could help her grow her business and make more money. Now she earns enough to support her family. She and Karekezi can also afford to fulfill their dream of sending their kids to school.
Gloriose says because parents in her village have gained knowledge about balanced diets, their children are receiving the food they need to grow. But what she considers truly wonderful is how, by participating in the program, “a woman has been given a voice.”
“It wasn’t a thing before for a woman to speak up … or borrow a certain amount of money and use it to make profit and pay it back,” she says. “That is something to be thankful for.”
Each person is made by God and therefore each life is sacred and valuable.
What is one thing you can do today to treat others with respect?
What is one thing you can
do today to treat others with respect?
Monpura, Bangladesh, is a beautiful island surrounded by the Meghna River. To the south, beach views stretch into the Bay of Bengal. To the west are forests and gardens where wild deer roam.
But in some areas, natural disasters like cyclones damage the landscape in the summer and autumn months. Houses are lost, farmlands flood, and roads and dikes break. Residents like Noornobi, who lives on Monpura with his family of 11, are always looking for new ways to protect their homes.
Noornobi says his family was poor when they lived in a small hut with a tin roof and hay walls. Their land would flood often, making it difficult to grow vegetables year-round. Noornobi found day labor catching hilsa fish in the river, but some days work was limited. This made it difficult for his family to eat well.
When Noornobi joined Catholic Relief Services’ Mutki Project, he learned how to prevent his land from flooding, to farm using chemical-free and organic fertilizers, and to raise chickens and ducks to sell. Now, with the help of his father and nephew Abdul, Noornobi farms more than half of his land and grows a variety of vegetables—including tomatoes, chilies, eggplant and lal shak, which is like a red spinach. He sells the vegetables at market.
“We have been improving because of vegetable farming … we slowly began to make a profit,” Noornobi says. With that profit, the family bought a larger tin house. Noornobi also helped his brothers open a shop to support their family and pay for private schooling for Abdul, who wants to be an engineer, and his sister Nihar, who dreams of being a schoolteacher.
“If I can build a nice family … I will be grateful,” Noornobi says. And for his community, he hopes everyone can “have a full stomach by working hard in the field.”
God created our world, and it is our responsibility to take care of it.
Why is caring for creation so important, and what is the impact—locally and globally—when we don’t care for it?
TO CRS RICE BOWL