MBCBL volunteer Shawna Nelles arrived in Kigali on January 3 and will be spending four weeks at the One Love Project.
In addition to her role as the webmaster for the MBCBL, Shawna is a freelance photographer and graphic designer and will be working on some photo pieces based on the work done by the One Love Project. She plans to also visit the new One Love Project orthopedic workshop established in Burundi.
Visiting One Love in Rwanda first hand is incredible. I felt like I walked into a little paradise where peace and love really do thrive.
Gatera Rudasingwa is the brains and heart behind this place. “Life is a Fight” he told me the other day. He explained he sees every problem we face as an opportunity to become more powerful, it is what allows us to help others. Gatera has overcome many obstacles in his own life, and is a popular guy in Kigali for all the good he does around here. Gatera, and virtually everyone who works here, is also disabled.
They started with nothing, built a workshop and continued building and growing ever since. The guest houses are really well equipped with everything you could need. The people that work here are wonderful. I already feel I’ve met the kind of special people I will never forget. The success of One Love has surpassed Gatera’s initial expectations and I hope soon to visit the new workshop that opened last year in Burundi.
There is a stream of projects that continue here everyday. Since I’ve been here they’ve been rebuilding a bridge at the front entrance. It’s almost complete. The camping site kitchen and toilet facilities are waiting to be finished, more guest bungalows are being developed and repairs to the gift shop are underway. The grounds throughout the compound are beautifully kept. A lot of work goes into running this place.
On Thursday a woman is coming to try on a prosthetic they are currently working on for her. Her leg had to be amputated from the knee down after a bike accident. I’ll look forward to learning more about this process and what is involved.
A photo essay from Shawna’s stay: