From Kigali With Love: God and Family are filling the emptiness

By Kamanzi-Sengabo
On 3 April 2020 at 08:38

Dear Uncle Tommy,

Your supply of encouragement has been most comforting in these hard times. It fills part of the emptiness and void created in me by the lockdown.

With the prevailing circumstances, I am reminded of the vanity of worldly riches. I, every morning, look at my car just parked there, no where to go to. But even the proud owners of jets cannot fly them. Air spaces are all shut. Every country is nursing its citizens and fighting an unseen tiny but wildly devastating enemy.

I am confined to a room. The designer clothes, shoes and perfumes in my wardrobe have all become useless and serving no purpose.

The work engagements and meetings that always steal my time with God and family have all come to a complete naught.

The merrymaking, the evening drink with friends (how I miss my cold Miitzig), are all nothing now. All that you and me need today is food and air to breathe. We just want to be alive. Nothing else is really important.

But you should have hope in God. He is keeping you alive for a purpose. God will enable scientists and political leaders to steer us through this. Otherwise, on our own, our energy, we cannot.

People with energy and vigour have all become helpless. All of a sudden. Here in Kigali, the hard-hit families by the lockdown have to be fed. No matter whether able-bodied or not. It is not a bad thing to feed them. But it takes us back to realize the vanity and emptiness in world possessions.
Uncle Tommy, I have learned that where you are, the government food distribution plan, as a response to the lockdown, is also out. And I understand that for the first time your government leaders are going to categorize people according to their incomes—as rich, poor, needy, etc.
This is something we did in Rwanda many years ago using a community participatory approach called UBUDEHE. The government of Rwanda knows the status of each household with a certain degree of accuracy.
In times like this, it becomes an easy task for government to identify how to support the most vulnerable through either direct financial support (executed under Vision Umurenge Program) or which able-bodied but unemployed youth to recruit in construction works of public infrastructures, among others.
The categorization is as well important in identifying most vulnerable families for which government pays medical insurance and tuition fees at university.
Uncle, I think there are many experiences and lessons we can share during and after episodes like this.
For, at the end of it all, it is we, the ordinary people, that either sink when things go haywire, or swim to the shores when all is well crafted.
These actions that involve the ordinary people; their views, their needs, their satisfaction, their commitment to sharing experiences and their willingness to embrace and enhance change are what is making Rwanda unique, adaptive and personifying hope.
By the way, do you get time to exercise from home? Please do. Keep fit. Walk around the house and take short runs in the compound. It is good for your health. Boosts your immunity and helps to avoid DVT [Deep Venous Thrombosis] or blood clots on the legs.
Well, I do not have much more to write.
But I continue to beseech you uncle, to continue joining us in prayer and never to relent in observing the guidelines given out during the lockdown. I say this because I know if you do not rest at home, you may end up Resting In Peace.

Cheers uncle,

Good Weekend