Voices from our COVID-19 Response in Mahama Camp- Divine's Story

Monday 11 January 2021


DIVINE, 15, RWANDA and Venathia – 43, mother crocheting

Divine, 15, has lived in Mahama Refugee Camp with her parents and six siblings since 2015.Multitalented Divine plays basketball, danc-es and now crochets as part of Save the Children’s Home-Based Recreation initiative. According to Divine, “Save the Children helped us by giving us crochets hooks and yarn so that we could start crocheting. You can’t wander around Akagera River if you have beautiful things like this at home.”

Although Divine finds consolation in home-based reactional activities, she still misses school, “I’m not really feeling well because we are not going to school. I miss everything at school. I miss my friends. I miss the les-sons. Sincerely, school is the best thing that we can have as children. Even knowing this handcraft of crocheting is because I have been at school.”

Divine pointed out the challenges to learning within Mahama Refugee Camp, “I can’t learn here. In the refugee camp, it is not easy to take books and revise because it is noisy, and it is hard to find someone to give explanations. I pray the school opens soon.”

Divine started secondary school this year and was eager for the next phase of her education. COVID-19 spoiled the excitement of the 15-year old who wishes to be the Minister of Health when she grows up.

“This year has been good for me, as it was the year that I joined secondary school. I was so excited to begin the next level of my education. I was enjoying the different courses that I was studying for the very first time in senior one, but COVID 19-interrupted that.”

Divine’s mother, Venathia Mukaremera, 43, reiterated the struggles of having seven children at home who are not going to school because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still the mother of seven appreciates Save the Children’s support to keep her children occupied during this period.

“As a parent, I cannot find words to express gratitude to Save the Children.” Venathia elaborated, “Divine has been given crochet hooks and yarn for crocheting. Her brother was given books and crayons for drawing, I enjoy seeing them busy in such activities.”

Venathia shares a passion for crocheting with her daughter. “I enjoy it when I see Divine doing what I love because I think maybe in the future, it may help her in one way or another,” said the proud mother.

Save the Children launched the Home-Based Recreation initiative to meet the child protection and recreational needs of children in Mahama Refugee Camp during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, 50 girls and 50 boys have been reached.

Save the Children delivers essential, life saving interventions to ensure that 31,688 children hosted in Mahama Refugee Camp survive, learn and are protected from harm.