Five of the cooperatives we serve in Rwanda were formed by people with AIDS who banded together to help each other survive. We have been helping each of these groups with livestock and other community support, which now includes healthcare.
The Rwandan government provides daily antiretroviral medicine for AIDS patients and healthcare for them at clinics throughout the countryside, but to access these services, everyone in the person’s family must have a Health Insurance Card. If, for example, the mother has a Health Card but the rest of family doesn’t, she cannot get treated until all her other family members have cards. The cost of this card (about $4.35 per year for each member) seems miniscule to us, but many of the families we work with can’t afford it.
So…this summer WD4H sent $1,540 from class proceeds and donations to give 76 families (with 366 family members) access to healthcare.
It took 10 days for our WD4H Rwanda team (Justin, Dany, and Chantal) to deposit the funds in each of the districts and 6 days to distribute the cards. The effort was led by Chantal, Justin’s sister, a Rural Development college graduate who is volunteering her time to help us.
Justin: Supporting those who have AIDS is more than just giving them a tangible health card but it is also bringing them hope that life is still possible over their disease. Isn’t it amazing to know that you, from far away, are helping whole families get access to healthcare any time they fall sick?
Alphonsine Mukandinda thanking World Dance for her Health Card (see more videos below!)