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Nov 21-23, 2021 - Kiln, Congo and many pictures

The PfP filter team, along with the Rwanda team, finished up the kiln building project in the community of Masaka. On the last day of our work, we presented the Masaka team with PfP

t-shirts and a small celebration. We plan to return to the site in the near future to help them learn to fire the kiln and to engage with the community for a presentation and small training.


November 21 - November 23

Finishing up the kiln building in Masaka, Rwanda

The PfP filter team, along with the Rwanda team, finished up the kiln building project in the community of Masaka. On the last day of our work, we presented the Masaka team with PfP

t-shirts and a small celebration. We plan to return to the site in the near future to help them learn to fire the kiln and to engage with the community for a presentation and small training. (See attached pictures of kiln and filter team)

November 20th

Meeting with the nonprofit Flourish Together from the Congo

A group of people traveled from the Congo to meet with Jennifer in Masaka to discuss the issues they face in their town of Minova, DRC. Herman Chirihambali is the founder for the NGO, Flourish Together, and runs both an orphanage with 53 children and helps women’s cooperatives who are trying to become financially sustainable. Two women from Minova accompanied him as well: Bi Foux Mapenzi Magadfu and Eveline Naomie Moise.

We spent the day discussing the effects the rebel attack had on the women of Minova. On November 12, 2012, rebels came to the village and killed many men and raped hundreds of women. The rapes caused many women to catch AIDS, have unplanned pregnancies, and be rejected by their husbands and families. Many suicides resulted from the social issues this war crime caused. Eveline is currently 24 years old and was a victim of rape in 2012. (See pictures)

10 years later, there is still much healing to do. There is a culture of accepted violence towards women that needs to end. Many of these women have been left out of the social structure and need to find a way to make a living.

I was approached with the request to help form a sewing training center for the women who experienced these war crimes and are currently in need of a life skill. Their request is for the purchase of 5 Butterfly brand treadle sewing machines and the salary for a local instructor. They would supply the rent for the training center building and manage the training center like a business. We discussed plans for the sewing school to become self-sustaining in one year. The sewing machines cost $150USD a piece and the instructor needs to be paid $100 per month.(see pictures of sewing machine and lady sewing)

We have a potential connection with the organization SCARCE near Chicago to help supply the thread and sewing tools for the school. (www.scarce.org)

November 21st

Meeting with Pastor John Rutsindintwarane

We met Pastor John Rutsindintwarane, the director of the NGO PICO-Rwanda (People Improving Communities Through Organizing). Pastor John and his wife Robin hosted the Bethel Lutheran Church visit to Rwanda in 2019. It was during this visit I was introduced to Edward Makara who we are now building a filter factory with in Makasa. (see picture of Pastor John)

November 22nd

Helping local potters with firing issues in the kiln

PfP filter team spent the afternoon helping a local pottery group with issues they are experiencing with their huge wood fired kiln. They are a large ceramic coop producing very large garden pots. Michel Schael spent time inside their kiln making recommendations to change the air flow in their kiln as well as building a bag wall to redirect the flames during the firing of their pots. Both Michael and Steve Smith did throwing demonstrations on their kick wheel and I did a sculpture demonstration for the women. (See pictures)

We leave tomorrow to fly to Kenya to visit 5 more communities. We will be discussing clean water, hygiene, ceramic filters, soap making, and additional sewing coops.



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