Thanks to the funding from various partners including but not limited to Slovenia, Belgium and Rwanda governments, Caritas Slovenia, Caritas International Belgium, Caritas Austria etc, Caritas Rwanda network has carried out different activities and promoted different best practices to protect our common home, among them the protection of the soil against erosion, the rational use of water resource, the promotion of agro-ecology, organic farming, the use of bio-pesticides, the use of renewable energy among others.
These actions have contributed to the reduction of soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide), river/lake and ocean water pollution, the human pressure on the forests for firewood, and the biodiversity contributed to the fertility restoration. To ensure that the information in Laudato Si is accessible to all, Caritas Rwanda and CEPR’s commission of Catechism produced a booklet of the Encyclical, which is now available in KINYARWANDA language. With the booklet, more focus is put on young people across the country in their schools.
Caritas Rwanda network works with the most vulnerable across the country and helps them to achieve their food security through sustainable use the land, a scarce resource. Supported beneficiaries have become confident and activists of the protection of our Common Home. Some of a population of 4,000 people supported from Caritas Kigali (Gakenke district in Rushashi sector) self-report having learned the importance of environmental protection and do community mobilization as a whole to improve our Home.
Uwineza Vestine, one of the farmers in the 5-hectare swamp, called Banga 1, says that the biggest help she has received from Caritas is the training in environmental protection, such as forest conservation, use of renewable materials, soil protection among others.
"Before we got trained on environmental friendly farming, we have been practicing environmental harmful methods but nowadays we are well organized and aware of the effect of a very single action in crop production process, on the environment’’, she said.
Apart from supporting them to mitigate the environment hazards, they are as well supported to cope with climate change effects on their production through provision of irrigation equipment to reduce their dependency to rain water for farming. According to Uwineza, last year was not easy because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but they managed to harvest 28 tons of maize, 17 tons of eggplants and other crops such as beans, thanks to the irrigation that allowed them to produce in season C, which could not happen without the access to irrigation equipment.