A Story of Hope from
Rwanda

Rights and Responsibilities

Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Rights and Responsibilities, we remember that every person has basic rights that make life truly human. Corresponding to our rights, we all have duties and responsibilities to one another, our families and the larger society.

For children to grow and stay healthy, parents in Rwanda learn about preparing balanced meals for them.

Uwamahoro family smiling and hugging each other

Though I say that our country has made progress, development is still essential, and it is ongoing.
— Gloriose Uwamahoro

Living in Kigali, Rwanda, Gloriose Uwamahoro and her husband Karekezi Jean Pierre are no strangers to hardship and hard work.

Driven by a dream to send their three children to a good school, Gloriose sells vegetables and water in a kiosk and Karekezi sells vegetables at a market. It’s a full day’s work. They often return home late at night, but thankful for the blessings they have.

“Our country went through a lot,” Gloriose says. “Though I say that our country has made progress, development is still essential, and it is ongoing.”

They faced many challenges. Their daughter was malnourished—like many other children in their village. Then Gloriose joined Gikuriro, a project funded by the U.S. government and led by Catholic Relief Services to support the Rwandan government’s efforts to combat malnutrition.

In Gikuriro, Gloriose learned how to prepare balanced meals for her children. She also learned about the importance of good hygiene. She shared these and other skills—like how to grow a kitchen garden—with her husband so they could support their children together.

“Parents have to pull together … because they are our responsibility,” Gloriose says about caring for their children.

She later joined a CRS-led micro-savings group and learned how loans could help her grow her business and make more money. Now she earns enough to support her family. She and Karekezi can also afford to fulfill their dream of sending their kids to school.

Gloriose says because parents in her village have gained knowledge about balanced diets, their children are receiving the food they need to grow. But what she considers truly wonderful is how, by participating in the program, “a woman has been given a voice.”

“It wasn’t a thing before for a woman to speak up … or borrow a certain amount of money and use it to make profit and pay it back,” she says. “That is something to be thankful for.”

REFLECT

Each person is made by God and therefore each life is sacred and valuable.

What is one thing you can do today to treat others with respect?

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