Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rwanda, Project: Bed for Janviere: Delivered!

I recently came back from Rwanda. The mission this time was a pleasant one, to deliver the hospital bed to Janviere that we had successfully fund-raised. The story of Janviere started about a year and a half ago. I was visiting Rwanda for the third time continuing my long term project on what life is like after having experienced Genocide. I was visiting with my friend Révérien who now lives in Switzerland. We went to the village where he grew up and where he witnessed the murder of his entire family, 43 people. He himself was badly injured. he was 15 years old. On the last day, he told me we were to visit his friend, Janviere. In 1994, during the genocide in Rwanda, Janviere was 11 years old. Her family was also killed and she had been thrown into a latrine. The result was that she broke her back and is now paralysed from neck and down. Since the genocide in 1994, Janviere has spent most of her time indoor. Her bed is not mobile. She cannot move at all, apart from her left hand. She can not sit in a wheel chair.  With Reverien, we decided that it must be possible to get her a bed or something that can help her get outside more. Upon my return to Switzerland, some of the work from Rwanda is available through Keystone photo agency. I did several exhibitions and presentations. While doing so, we started a fund raising campaign. I met with potential partners/ clients and the result was that we got a bed, a hospital Stryker bed, donated by MC Group in Holland (Hospital). The box made for the shipping was made for free by Noord nederlands klussenbedrijf, Nelipak donated towards the packaging, Rhenus Drachten gave us favourable fares for the freight. The people at Polyganics were all amazing and took care of the rest of the expenses in order top make his project a success- thank you Marcel, Paul, Romke, Rudy, Marietta and everybody else involved, including the family of Révérien!
The bed, packed and ready to leave from Holland (Polyganics office) and to be sent to Rwanda. 
I also have to mention everybody who donated towards this project. A crowd funding page was set up with 100 days. The goal was to raise CHF 5000 and buy a bed for Janviere. We made our target thanks to many (29) individual contributions! So, I am back from Rwanda, the bed was finally delivered after some initial problems with timing, visa etc... But, I can report back that Janviere is very grateful and extremely touched by the generosity by everybody involved!
Janviere stays most of the day in her regular bed. I brought her some photos from the previous trip with Reverien.
Janviere and Révérien first met when they were 11 and 15 years old. They where next to each other at the field hospital when they were found injured during the genocide in Rwanda.

John and Theodore and his family are helping preparing the bed which was delivered at their house last December (2016). 
Teta Aniella, Theodore's daughter is participating in the preparation of the bed. 
and so are his other two children, Ngango Alrick and Inez Paskella!
And, of course Theodore. 
The children taking advantage of the box used for transporting the bed- finally- it's empty!
Teta Aniella playing a mobile game.
John lending his phone to the kids.
Ready to go! 
Inez Paskella at the door, the mattresses are stacked inside the day before delivering the bed.
It is rain season in Rwanda, muddy and grey outside.
A pick up truck is used to transport the bed.
The guys helping to load up properly.
It is about 3 hours to drive between Kigali and Kibungo, where Janviere lives.
The Stryker bed is pretty easy to handle and to clean. It does not require any electricity.
Mission accomplished!
Janviere was eager to try her new bed. 
Finally, outside. For the first time, Janviere could stay outside on her balcony. 
The only times she spent outside in the past, was when going to hospital.
Janviere expressed much gratitude towards everybody who have helped contributing to her new bed.
So, final note- Postcards and prints are currently being made and will soon be on its way to various contributors! 
#genocide #neveragain #photography#documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro#keystonephoto #100days #ronorp #photobastai #switzerland #geneva#lausanne #zurich #wha