The New Times (Kigali)
January 12, 2007
Poverty is the prime factor causing many Rwandans to live a devastating life. The most affected include the orphans and widows who as the only alternative have stormed the streets of different towns.
Most of the widows in Rwanda live a desperate life. Poverty is not only in terms of money but also basic needs like housing, food, education and clothing’s extra.
It is due to poverty that most widows send their children to beg on streets or leave their families and go to stay on the streets as street children.
Street children are not the only people found on the streets begging, but there are a number of types people found in the city begging. Among these are street children who co-habit in the streets and street children who sent by their parents or guardians to beg due to the situation at home.
Street children are not the only people commonly seen begging on the streets, poverty has caused also mature people to leave their families, homes and go on the streets to beg.
One can think "But these beggars in the streets are normal, why they can’t work". I used to think the same way but after speaking to some of the old ladies from Rubungo in Gasabo district, who were moving from one house to the other begging for food, clothing extra. I discovered that at least they had a reason but instead of giving them free things, they should be helped get out of the unfavorable conditions which makes them beg.
While narrating their story to this reporter Anastasia Mukandahiro of 70 and Rose Mukakimenyi of 80 said "We are not pleased to beg at our age, poverty has forced us beg when it is not necessary. We have spent four years co-hosting in neighbors, we do not have food to eat, clothes to wear, money to take our grand sons and daughters in schools nor have houses to build on our own shelters said the old ladies.
I live a miserable life because I do not have a solution to my problems, begging helps solve some of my needs like food and clothes that good Samaritans offer me said Rose Mukakimenyi.
She further said though begging can solve partly her problems, it can not give education to her grand children and beddings.
Mukandahiro Anastasia told The New times that some time back she was depending to the pottery, were she could get some little money to feed the family but since the buying of the swamps were they used to collect clay from, buying soap and other basic needs became a great deal to handle.The issue of beggars does not call for the government only, it’s every one’s responsibility to help, not all beggars are after free things, among them are capable to do you services if given so long as there is a wage at the end.