Manirakiza Marie-Claire first came to Murura village in 2006 with her family to look for work and a better life. The following year, she met Maniragaba Ndererimana there. He had come from another district in 2004 to look for work after his parents had both died in 2003. After meeting, Marie-Claire and Ndererimana decided to marry, and soon after became pregnant with their first daughter, Angelique. She was 22 and he was 24 years old.
After Marie-Claire’s daughter was born, her parents returned to Rustiro District, leaving her in Murura with her new husband. The couple was working hard, either as day laborers on other people’s land or hauling materials. As they worked, they saved up and eventually were able to buy their own small plot of land and begin building a home for their family.
They soon conceived another child, and a girl named Nadia was born. It was around this time that Ndererimana’s behavior began to change. Their family grew to include two more children, but he became increasingly withdrawn and mentally ill, and the house was never finished. Ndererimana is now absent for long periods of time, and when he is present he’s unable to support his family in any way, leaving Marie-Claire to care for and feed all four children.
Inshuti of Rwanda found Marie-Claire still living in the small room they built years ago, now with a five year old, Consesa, and a nine month old, Claudine in addition to her two older children. The room is extremely small and unfit for habitation, not to mention for five people. It’s just a few layers of adobe bricks, with makeshift roofing that’s full of holes. The floor is mud and remains wet for a long time after a rainstorm. The bed is made of timber and straw and shared among all of them, and there’s no pit latrine.
Marie-Claire and her family deserve better than this. Please help Inshuti of Rwanda build them a proper place to call home in 2020.
– written by Anna Glavash