Hareimana Jean-Pierre lives with his second wife, Maniraguha Claudine, and their 5 children, ranging in age from six months to 16 years old. Like many in Rwanda, both Jean-Pierre and Claudine are HIV positive. Hareimana’s first wife (and mother of the three oldest children) unknowingly infected Jean-Pierre, who then passed it onto Claudine. While they are fortunate to receive AVR from the government, when they do not have enough food to eat, the medication upsets their stomachs making it difficult to work.
After the Rwandan Genocide, the Interahamwe regularly attacked Rubavu hill where Jean-Pierre and his family used to live, making it an unsafe place to be. The Interahamwe, who previously had fled into the Congo, would return to Rwanda and terrorize the village, slaughtering Jean-Pierre’s neighbors. In 1997, the family finally fled to Gisenyi, Rwanda where they could temporarily live until they could safely return home. However, in 1998, the government refused to allow them and many other refugees back to their home for fear of continued attacks.
Since 1998, the Jean-Pierre family had been squatting in unfinished houses. Often, several days a week, the owner of the house would force Jean-Pierre to work on his land in order for the family to stay there. In 2005, the Gahinga Village leaders recognized how poor Jean-Pierre and his family was and gave them a piece of land with an old, dilapidated house. It was not very safe or liveable, but it was finally a place of their own. For the last 6 years, Jean-Pierre tries to earn a living by hauling goods with a homemade cart. This work is irregular and often he only finds a job one day a week. Jean-Pierre has not be able to fix his dilapidated house where he and his family live in impoverished conditions