Global Grassroots 2011 Year-End Magazine - Page 22

Global Grassroots 2011

Have a Good Life*

Have a Good Life runs a non-profit clean water venture in the Nyamirambo community of Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. Denis Bizimana, the organization’s treasurer, explains: “Our mission is to bring water to this community, in order to solve the problems related to water scarcity… such as diseases – like diarrhea or cholera. And the abuse: people who were beaten, especially women. And the rapes.”

As participants in Global Grassroots’ Academy for Conscious Change, Have a Good Life received the training and funding to establish their “micro-NGO” from scratch. They have been able to provide clean water to over 200 households, approximately 1600 – 2000 people.

Have a Good Life’s initial baseline issue study in 2010 revealed:

100% of those surveyed used contaminated water collected from a natural stream or rainwater as their primary source of water.

100% had experienced at least one case of water-borne disease.

80% of women experienced violence due to the lack of water.

95% of children missed school regularly throughout the year due to helping to collect water.

81% of women had traded sex for water at one time

100% knew someone infected by HIV while trading sex for water, but only 25% had taken HIV tests

Have A Good Life Program Video

After learning about the rate of sexual exploitation in exchange for water and the lack of HIV awareness in their community, the team incorporated educational programming on HIV/AIDS prevention and women’s rights, and made sexual exploitation a primary focus. In 12 months, they have substantially reduced gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, and water-related disease rates in Nyamirambo. They have further been able to provide health insurance to the community’s 40 poorest families.

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photo by Christina Hueschen