Meet “Johanna” & Baby “John Nicholas”
World Dance for Humanity began working with Dufatanye (“Helping Each Other”) Co-op in January of 2017. It was founded by a group of women, most of whom have AIDS, who live in tiny shacks in the mountains on the way to Rwanda’s famous Mountain Gorillas. Until now, they have survived by farming small plots of land.
World Dancer and WD4H Board Member Jayne Johann met these women on our trip in July of 2018,
and gifted them a cow named “Johanna” on behalf of her family.
Not long after Johanna’s arrival at Dufatanye, she gave birth to a baby boy!
Jayne has named him “John Nicholas” after her father.
Justin’s talk: “This cow is a tool to help you open your eyes to your development opportunities. The donors want to see you turn a cow into something big for your transformation. Let this cow be the basis for a brighter future. Prove with your thinking and hard work that this cow can help you become independent and able to help others. The journey is scariest when you haven’t yet started. You have started, and have what you need to make it possible! the ball is in your court. Go and do it!”
Gifts for Jayne: “The co-op gave us gifts for Jayne – a tuff of ‘cow grass’ and a walking stick. The grass is used to clean and massage a cow – it is a symbol of our love and care for the animal. When you give a cow to someone, you are given this type of grass in return, as a wish that you will have more cows to love and care for. The walking stick is a wish that you will keep strong even on high and slippery slopes. It also symbolizes a weapon and is a wish for your victory all the time, that no one will defeat you.”
Beatrice, Co-op Leader: “We are receiving a gift we couldn’t even have dreamed of. This cow will be of importance in our development. As women with AIDS, the world used to see us as people who are only waiting for the last day to leave the earth. We are not dying. The stigma on us is slowly getting replaced by respect. We are getting a sustainable livelihood. Our contribution is going to bring light into this remote region. We endlessly thank Jayne for having brought this new life to us!”
Venathie: “Jayne is saving us from the worry and fear we had, thinking that we were rejected by the community and the world. Now we are risen from the dead to a better life. I feel we are human beings like others. Please, convey this message to the generous people full of love who are striving for this change in our lives. We pray for so many blessings upon you.” (In Rwanda, gourds were used like a churn – shaken until the milk became butter. They symbolize the connection of Rwandans to their cows, or the wish to own a cow. Now this wish has come true for Dufatanye!)
Celestin: “This cow is such a great resource in our community. We thank Jayne for making this happen in our lives, we honor her so much and we feel she is already part of our lives and our future. Thank you so much.”
Marie Claire: “It is hard for me to express my feelings. I need more time to simply understand this. It is too much beyond what I can handle. I feel it is still a dream for me. From the bottom of my heart, I am only able to say, thank you!”
Theogene: “This cow means joy, peace, respect, love and economic development for us. I wish our donor were here, but I think all the messages we are sending will reach her and one day we will celebrate together. She takes us out of nowhere, out of our hopelessness. We are very confident and so much hopeful that our future is secured, thanks to her cow ‘Johanna’. Jayne, I cannot stop telling you how much happy I am today. This day will never go out of the history of this community. Next time you come, we will share with you the fruits from this cow we are receiving.”
Jean Baptiste, Sector Leader: “If we had generous people like these before, this village wouldn’t be in the same situation. My feeling is that it is not too late, anything has its own time to happen. Donors, we want to tell you that you come in the right time. The government makes development plans, but those plans cannot be reached without support from people like you. We thank you so much for intervening with this life- changing support. The name ‘Jayne’ is already recorded among important names in our region and we thank her so much for her willingness to serve this way.”