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  • A Story of Hope From Rwanda

    Living in Kigali, Rwanda, Gloriose Uwamahoro and her husband Karekezi Jean Pierre are no strangers to hardship and hard work.

    Driven by a dream to send their three children to a good school, Gloriose sells vegetables and water in a kiosk and Karekezi sells vegetables at a market. It’s a full day’s work. They often return home late at night, but thankful for the blessings they have.

    “Our country went through a lot,” Gloriose says. “Though I say that our country has made progress, development is still essential, and it is ongoing.”

    They faced many challenges. Their daughter was malnourished—like many other children in their village. Then Gloriose joined Gikuriro, a project funded by the U.S. government and led by Catholic Relief Services to support the Rwandan government’s efforts to combat malnutrition.

    In Gikuriro, Gloriose learned how to prepare balanced meals for her children. She also learned about the importance of good hygiene. She shared these and other skills—like how to grow a kitchen garden—with her husband so they could support their children together.

    “Parents have to pull together … because they are our responsibility,” Gloriose says about caring for their children.

    She later joined a CRS-led micro-savings group and learned how loans could help her grow her business and make more money. Now she earns enough to support her family. She and Karekezi can also afford to fulfill their dream of sending their kids to school.

    Gloriose says because parents in her village have gained knowledge about balanced diets, their children are receiving the food they need to grow. But what she considers truly wonderful is how, by participating in the program, “a woman has been given a voice.”

    “It wasn’t a thing before for a woman to speak up … or borrow a certain amount of money and use it to make profit and pay it back,” she says. “That is something to be thankful for.”

  • As we prepare to open our hearts to God and neighbor, let us pray together.

    Lord Jesus,
    You call us to a conversion of heart during Lent, and you give us the tools to do this through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
    When we pray, help us remember the needs of our sisters and brothers.
    When we fast, help us offer our sacrifice in union with you.
    When we give, help us recognize our gifts are from you so that we are generous with others.