First House Slider
The First house
Solome's Story
Solome's Story Part 1

Rosa first met Solome in November 2012 while conducting home visits and volunteering for a micro-loan organization. Ayinkamiye Solome had received a loan to raise rabbits which she hoped would generate an income to support her family. One year before, a landslide washed away the family’s home and they could not afford to build a new one. Solome, her husband Issac and their four daughters had been living in a corrugated metal structure with a tarp roof.

Solome's Story Part 2

Felix translated their ongoing struggle and it resonated deeply within Rosa. Solome and her husband, Kiyoge Issac, are genocide survivors. Issac lost an eye from shrapnel and suffers from PTSD which escalates in April, the anniversary of the genocide. Solome and Issac are both HIV+. While they receive antiretrovirals from their government, they often do not have enough food in the morning to take with their medications. This causes stomach issues which makes working difficult.

Solome's Story Part 3

As they walked home, Rosa recalls discussing Solome’s hardships with Felix. She remembers the moment Felix turned to her and said, “You should come back next year and build them a house." Rosa initially thought this was impossible as she knew nothing about fundraising or building houses in Rwanda. However, the seed Felix had planted germinated and by the time Rosa was flying home, she knew . . . in a year . . . she would return to build Solome and her family a new home.

We Build A House

In April 2014, a team of masons along with Rosa, Felix, Solome and her family worked together to build them a new home.

The house was constructed over the course of one month, at a cost of $2,500.

Thanks to generous donations from Rosa's friends and family Solome, Issac, and their four daughters moved into their home and began a new life.

This is just the beginning.

Solome's Story Part 4

Every year Rosa travels back to her second home in Rwanda to facilitate the construction of new houses. The reunion between Rosa and Solome is always joyous and heartfelt, as a special bond has developed between them over the years. Solome has turned her house into a home and even has an extensive vegetable garden with fruit trees.

Solome's Story Part 5

Today, Solome’s daughters are thriving. Emerance is a primary school teacher, married, and a mother. With the birth of baby Jessica, Gentille's child, the next generation begins living in Inshuti houses. Jeanette and Joyce also live at home while attending secondary school. Solome continues to work as a seamstress to help support her family. Little did they all know more houses would be built, and a community of Inshuti would grow around them.

Slide 1
Issac, Solome, Jeanette & Joyce in 2012
Slide 2
The corrugated metal and tarp roof struture the family was living in.
Slide 3
When it rained the family huddled under an umbrella because there were holes in their tarp roof.
Slide 4
Issac lost his eye from a shrapnel wound during the 1994 genocide.
Slide 5
Joyce & Jeanette on the bed they share with their two older sisters.
Slide 6
Solome & Issac received a micro-loan to raise rabbits.
Slide 7
Solome, Felix & Rosa make plans to begin building the new house.
Slide 8
For the first house we kept track of everything with paper and pen. No computers.
Slide 9
Lava rock foundation for the new house built in front of the old structure.
Slide 10
Rosa helping move lava rocks to finish the foundation.
Slide 11
The first layer of adobe bricks are set.
Slide 12
Inshuti masons, Hassan and Jean-Bosco, set the center bricks to determine the size and shape of the rooms.
Slide 13
Scaffolding is built so the next layer of adobe bricks can be set.
Slide 14
Hassan using guide lines to keep the layers of adobe bricks straight and level.
Slide 15
Issac and Jeanette help carry bricks to the masons.
Slide 16
Yanze, an Inshuti mason, laying bricks.
Slide 17
Yanze, an Inshuti mason, laying bricks.
Slide 18
Gentille passing bricks to mason Hassan.
Slide 19
Rosa, Felix and Solome make plans for the pit latrine.
Slide 20
Digging the pit latrine is extremely hard work because the soil is full of lava rocks of various sizes.
Slide 21
Then the lava rocks are used to line the pit latrine to keep it from collapsing.
Slide 22
Eucalyptus wood scaffolding is erected for the roof.
Slide 23
Masons use machetes and line to cut he eucalyptus wood to the correct size.
Slide 24
The new house is constructed next to the old shelter.
Slide 25
The metal roofing sheets are attached and then adobe bricks are laid to the roof line.
Slide 26
The house begins to take shape.
Slide 27
Hassan begins mudding the cracks on the interior walls in preparation for cementing.
Slide 28
Jean-Bosco uses a machete to level the adobe bricks in preparation for installing a window.
Slide 29
Windows and doors are made by a local carpenter and then installed by masons.
Slide 30
Interior and exterior walls are cemented.
Slide 31
Cement stairs are built.
Slide 32
Solome and Issac rejoice when they can move into their new home.
Slide 33
Inshuti throws a party to celebrate the completion of the house.
Slide 34
Celebrate! The house is finished!
Slide 35
Solome and Rosa are life-long Inshuti.
Slide 36
On year later, Solome had made her house a home.
Slide 37
Solome, Rosa and Joyce in 2015.
Slide 38
Solome and Rosa in 2016.
Slide 39
Rosa, Issac, Solome and Joyce in 2017.
Slide 40
Solome in her yard in 2017.
Slide 41
Inshuti - Friends. Jeanette, Solome, Rosa, Joyce and Gentille in 2020.
Slide 42
Solome's a grandmother! With the birth of baby Jessica, Gentille's child, the next generation begins living in Inshuti houses.