With a backdrop of Rusizi’s lush green scenery, Beatrice Nyiransabimana sits on a bench, ready to share her story with the world.
Preparing for this interview gave her some nervousness, but she mostly looked comfortable and happy. This wasn’t her a few years ago.
Smiling was a luxury she couldn’t afford because of the daily struggles of caring for three children without a stable job or ultimate source of income.
Her despair was caused by the fact the fathers of her children never cared to assume responsibility, even when she tried to hold them accountable.
She was never officially married to any of them, so the men’s presumptions were that they weren’t obliged to take care of her or their children for that matter.
So naturally, she assumed total responsibility and took care of her children right from birth till when they started going to school. She had to provide food, shelter, medical care, clothes and school fees as well. It was tough and her only hope was that the future would surely come with better.
As per her prayers, indeed one day, the Executive of their sector, Cyendajuru, invited them for a special meeting. Those invited were mostly people with issues that needed to be attended to. As a struggling single mother, she knew it was time to address hers as well.
As it turned out, Haguruka had reached out and the meeting was a platform to offer a helping hand for those who needed help.
When it was her turn, she explained her case to a lawyer (from Haguruka) who promised to help Nyiransabimana to get the justice she deserves.
“When I met them, you could tell all was to be well. They welcomed me politely, and after explaining my case, they offered to take my case to court,” she narrates.
After going through the entire process, the men were brought to book; they registered their children as per the law and accepted to start giving her a monthly allowance that would help cater for the children’s needs and paying for school fees too.
“Haguruka ni umubyeyi,” she said, loosely translated as Haguruka is a ‘rescuer.’
“Because it came as an answer to our problems. I don’t think I can find a way to repay them. All I can do is applaud their good cause. I also take this opportunity to encourage others in the same situation to reach out for their services,” she added.
She went on to thank Haguruka for empowering her to know her rights, “Where would I have started taking my issue to court? I didn’t have the knowledge; I didn’t even know I had the right to do so. Haguruka stepped in as a parent. Before, I was so fearful and thought I didn’t have or deserved any proper treatment, but Haguruka gave me courage. I can easily express myself to others. They accelerated us to a different level, and for that, we are grateful.”