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Rwanda: Volcano Eruption and Earthquake Life Threatening (VEELIT) Response

Rwanda: Volcano Eruption and Earthquake Life Threatening (VEELIT) Response

On May 22nd, 2021, Mount Nyiragongo erupted leaving a wide population throughout the DR Congo and Rwanda displaced and traumatized. 403,662 people have reportedly been affected by this disaster and were left vulnerable. The victims of this disastrous event remain hungry, in need of basic hygienic supplies, and traumatized. This event took place while the backdrop of COVID-19 continued to plague these countries.

ALARM developed a quick and strategic intervention to aid those who were left vulnerable with essential supplies. This intervention from August 5th-7th included provision for 2-3 months of food, basic kitchen supplies, and essential hygienic items. Because of this intervention project, 81 families (about 405 individuals) received enough food for 2 months. As the beneficiaries reflected on ALARM’s aid, they were grateful that an organization cared enough to meet their needs during a national crisis. ALARM worked in collaboration with church leaders and local community leaders as this intervention was planned and executed.

From September 8th-10th ALARM Rwanda held a conference for 40 individuals who were left traumatized and burdened by these events. This conference covered topics in trauma healing, developing resilience, and small business empowerment and was led by qualified leaders who are educated in the relevant topics. As these participants attended the sessions, they were given the opportunity to share their stories of past trauma and ask questions to the facilitators about the trauma healing process and other covered topics. These participants were educated and empowered to take the steps towards trauma healing, resilience, and financial recovery.

These vulnerable communities continue to recover but there are still people in need, houses that need to be repaired, and those who were traumatized are still challenged by fear and instability. ALARM will continue to work alongside these victims to ensure they recover physically, emotionally, and spiritually.