24.05.2012 18:52 Age: 1 yrs
Category: MINALOC News
KOREAN VOLUNTEERS IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
May 24, 2012
A team of Korean young volunteers based in Gihogwe Village, Musambira sector of Kamonyi district is contributing significantly to socioeconomic transformation within the community where they are established.
The group operates under the guidance and supervision of KOICA. The young volunteers are involved in different socioeconomic activities including constructing a modern village infrastructure generally known as “Saemaul” (i.e. “New and Better Community”, equivalent of “Umuganda” in Kinyarwanda).
The infrastructure comprises of classroom, library, sports play grounds and modern kitchens. They are planning also to set up ICT infrastructure for community development.
Their work spirit is based on “diligence, self-help and cooperation”.
The Team leader, Mr DAEHO SHON, said; “Our objective as young volunteers is to share experience and knowledge with the local community members and to contribute to their welfare”.
The volunteers’ activities are in line with the Rwandan Government’s development policy. They are involved in health and hygiene education, improvement in living and kitchen environment and, income generation activities.
They have developed the then undeveloped three hectares from Mukunguri marshland. Together with the local population, they turned the marshland into a “rice model farm”. They aim at expanding it to fifteen hectares within one year ahead.
Jin Yeong LEE, one of the volunteers, said that, “the objective of this project is to increase income for farmers by cultivating rice and to empower the capability of farmers by performing developed agriculture skills training.”
“We are happy with these volunteers. They teach us what we need; and they show us how we can get it from our resources. From this rice produce, we shall be paying school fees for our children, pay for our health insurance contributions and save some money through SACCOs; a thing we never did before”, one of the cooperative members said.
Professor P.E. CHOE, a volunteer based in the Ministry of Local Government, said that, “This is a very much successful and desirable community development project, based on a bottom up Umuganda movement which will contribute to Rwandans socioeconomic transformation.”
Rutsinga Jacques, who is the Mayor of Kamonyi district, commended the volunteers’ contribution for the local community development.
“We have assessed the profitability of this project. We anticipate that, once the whole marshland is fully developed, about 60 families will be making about an additional two hundred dollars (200USD) annual income”, Rutsinga said.
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