Mama Eric’s Village
Mama Eric is a bit of a legend within Equip. So called because of the Rwandan tradition of naming a mother after her eldest child, she is one of Rwanda’s poorest. Mama Eric is an elderly Rwandan lady with whom Equip has developed a close friendship over many years. We endeavour to visit her on every trip to Rwanda, regularly taking gifts of food and clothing.
Over the years Mama Eric has received dozens of visitors from the UK, and she makes each one feel as welcome as if they were royalty. Having sat in in many of her temporary, tiny and unfit places of accommodation, in which she has also given a home and a place of safety to many orphans and genocide survivors, we are delighted she has now been moved from Kigali to Ayabaraya, the newly built model village in the Kicukiro District of Kigali and has been given a beautiful new house provided by the Rwandan government.
Now in her eighties she is finally settled. She still takes in young people who have no home and clothes and feeds them without any thought for herself. Equip loves her very much and has committed to provide monthly food aid to both her and her neighbours. Equip is also working with the local leadership of the village to provide resources for several agricultural projects so that more families can be fed in a sustainable way. Educational equipment is provided too for the children to be able to go to school.
Mama Eric with Paul Johnson, Chair of Trustees. At 6’ 4ins, Paul towers above his diminutive friend but there is no doubt that she is a giant of the faith, trusting God for her every need in extremely challenging circumstances.
Mama Eric now lives in Ayabaraya, a newly built model village in Kicukiro District of Kigali, almost a two-hour drive from the city centre. It is where some of the most vulnerable families from all over Rwanda have been rehoused over the past few years, those who would formerly have been living in high-risk zones.
Visiting From The UK
This is the very first time Mama Eric received a visit from a group of UK friends back in 2008. Since then, Equip has visited her at least once a year, searching out where she has been living and bringing dozens of young people to meet her and enjoy her infamous hospitality which always includes her praying for everyone!
Mama Eric and her community value the fact that they are not forgotten, and that people care enough to travel to see them.
Loving The Whole Village
Community is paramount in Rwanda and a commitment to help Mama Eric means a commitment to help her neighbours too. Equip is funding a number of agricultural projects in the village, including renting a field for the villagers to grow crops, a project to breed rabbits to provide meat to both eat and sell and a project to grow mushrooms.
Equip is also providing school equipment at the start of the academic terms for the children. Further initiatives are being discussed with villagers to ensure we both hear and respond to their needs.
Promoting opportunity and excellence in Africa
Registered Charity No: 1184890
Registered Charity No: 1184890