Shyogwe Guest House is fairly new, we have electricity and hot running water (in some of the rooms at least). A pleasant breakfast, no porridge in Shyogwe, but the regulation omelette soon appeared.
Then it was off to Gikomero to meet with Bridgitte the nurse supported through our Nurse + Project. This was our first opportunity to meet her but we felt we knew her already from her letters and photo’s. She greeted us like long lost friends and became quite emotional as she tried to convey her appreciation for the support she has received, she wanted to say so much but did not have good enough English to express herself. A great deal of smiling, hand shaking and hugging delivered the message very clearly
As we stood talking with the clinic director, Carmen seemed to collect children – two hands to hold just weren’t enough
This health centre, started just 6 years ago with one microscope in a small house, the pastor’s wife (a nurse) started doing blood tests to check for malaria and other parasites. With funding from the local government and some input from larger charities, this health centre now consists of 4 new buildings treating up to 150 patients a day plus 20 beds and a maternity unit. The staff consist of eight nurses, only two of whom are qualified to degree level. Five are government funded, the Diocese have to fund the rest, they have never had a visit from a doctor!!!
The challenges are immense, lack of medicines, equipment and a broken water pump are just a few of the challenges faced, the staff however, far from moaning and complaining, work very long hours, smile, praise God for the things they are able to achieve and pray they will be paid at the end of the month (there are no guarantees).
We have been in Rwanda less than a week but in our hearts have already allocated all our available funds, our heads of course will not make final decisions until we return to the UK.
The rain continues to make the roads interesting although many have been improved beyond recognition. There is real progress being made by the government here improving the infrastructure and supporting rural communities, but there is still so much to be done.