Not just another Saturday in May

Until the Monday before, I didn’t know who Dieudonné Gakire was, and I had never heard of the Dusego Empowerment Hub.

Yet on Saturday, 11 May, 2024, I found myself part of a group of volunteers carrying donated books into the library room of the new community hall and planting trees to the front and back of the building that sits near the administrative centre of Dusego, a village dotted over the surrounding hills, a 3-hour walk away from the nearest market town of Muhanga and an hour and a half from the nearest bus stop.

This place is as remote as it is picturesque. Beauty and nature abound, and recently it has also become home to a brand-new community hall for people to meet, read, listen, learn and play!

I was chuffed to be a tiny part of this project – and little did I know I would get much more than I expected. Not only did I make new friends and had heart-warming encounters with villagers but Dieudonné had organized much more than that: the volunteers got live music entertainment in the new venue, enjoyed a spot of board and card games, and were guided on a walk to the local river at the bottom of the hill. The afternoon was topped off by a lovely meal for all at Dieudonné’s childhood home. Meeting his mum and being her guest was a very special moment for me. As a foreigner, you don’t get a more authentic and meaningful Rwanda experience than that!

When I first read about the Dusego Empowerment Hub, I couldn’t find the village on the map. A few days and wonderful experiences later, I know that the founder’s vision and determination to give back to his community, the support of partners and the hard work of his volunteers have put it squarely on the map in the hearts and minds of many people who feel inspired, empowered and connected as a result of this project on a remote hill in beautiful Rwanda.

Come and see for yourself.

Daria Santi is a freelance medical and technical translator.


One response to “Not just another Saturday in May”

  1. David Green Avatar
    David Green

    What a great experience for volunteers and the local community alike. Thanks for sharing this, Daria, this is a great example of how communities strengthen and how as volunteers, you also benefit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *