Letter to my fellow youth: Christian on how he restored one of his abandoned projects to help his community amid COVID-19 – Rwanda We Want

Letter to my fellow youth: Christian on how he restored one of his abandoned projects to help his community amid COVID-19

Christian is a high school graduate living in Rulindo district and he is the former head of RWW club at E.S Gasiza. He was just in his gap year before starting his university studies. As coronavirus brought every aspect of humanity to its knees, Christian didn’t just sit and wait for hell to freeze over. Instead, he believed in himself and in the ability that regardless of capabilities or history one can affect change. He then used the lockdown period to bring back to life one of his old projects that he fine-tuned to adapt it to the opportunity he had.

Hello I’m Christian,

I was a high school graduate and before going to university, I was rearing a pig I had bought back in 2019 when I graduated high school.

It was announced that the whole country is on lockdown in the evening news. At first, I was thinking that it’s impossible. I had never seen anything like it, where the whole country is asked to stay home, and so I was a bit skeptical about it. But then as the government began helping people to follow the guidelines that were put in place to help curb the spread of coronavirus, I realized that everything is possible, but still unbelievable. Just like that, no transportation, schools and churches closed and other things which are not deemed essential closed. 

At home they could send me for grocery shopping and I couldn’t help but notice the scarcity of green leafy vegetables, especially the amaranth livid vegetables commonly known as “dodo”. Every time I was at that small market at our village, I could hear someone complaining how she/he is going to walk for about 3 kilometers just to go and fetch them from Gasiza market. From that I thought that I could revive an old project that I had started of planting amaranth vegetables but couldn’t follow up because of being busy with school work. I had begun cultivating amaranth vegetables commonly known as “dodo” and this time I decided to take it seriously. I went and bought 86 seeds for 1000 Rwf from a person who had a nursery,  after failing to get them from the market a couple of times.

Amaranth Livid vegetables commonly known as “Dodo” planted by Christian Manishimwe

I then started selling the vegetables by the roadside but it was tiresome and wasn’t generating as much profits as I wanted which gave me the idea to propose to the sellers to be supplying them with my merchandise.

Christian Manishimwe in his amaranth vegetables plantation
Christian Manishimwe in his amaranth vegetables plantation

Now, I can make 10,000 Rwf in a month from supplying those vegetables, but I intend to keep expanding. Therefore, I will rent a bigger farm to plant a lot of those veggies as I know that it’s needed by many people around here. From that business, I intend to use the profits to help me add other pigs to the farm and when they grow I will be selling them. People also love pork, it’s commonly known as “akabenz”.

Amaranth livid vegetables planted by Christian Manishimwe
Christian Manishimwe in his amaranth vegetables plantation

To my fellow youth, coronavirus has had a toll on all of us but it doesn’t mean that you should sit and wait for magic to happen; think of how you can participate in fighting against the pandemic’s negative impacts within your community. You could start small because it’s in the addition and multiplication of many small things that become bigger things. If I played my part and you played yours and everyone else did, imagine the end result.