Of fish and prison

Jan 26 2017

There is a family which Loanhead Parish Church has been supporting for a couple of years now. The original intention was to enable the child of a young mother to go to school. The little girl has been doing very well at school where she is fed each day, which helps her mother.

The mother has been able to find occasional casual work. On this visit we were told that she has begun selling ameffy, small dried fish, on the streets.

Selling anything on the streets in Kigali invites problems. Restrictions in the villages may be a little more relaxed than some time back but selling on a main road, where potential customers are, can attract the attentions of the local constabulary.

So it was that our young mother found herself in the police cells over last week-end. She was released, but not before her husband had paid 20,000 francs for her, most of his month's wages as a security guard.

There isn't much point in sending a child to school if they are going to starve at home so we went to the shops to buy some provisions. 10kg of beans, 25kg of maize flour and 10kg of rice will keep the family going for a few weeks. For another few francs a boy was happy to put the 45kg sack on his head and deliver it to the family's door.