Empowerment in Action

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"The most inspiring part of both STOMP work and my Peace Corps service thus far has been our monthly visits to Kigoma Coffee Washing Station to discuss malaria prevention strategies with local coffee farmers.” — PCV Morgan, South STOMP Coordinator

Members of the STOMP Rwanda South team had a follow up meeting with the farmers and focused this time on accountability and community ownership.

After a brief warm up and net repair competition, participants divided into groups according to village and discussed specific challenges they face in their communities. They also identified possible solutions and elected a leader to hold them accountable to those ideas. In future meetings, these community leaders will report their findings and any challenges they face in their respective communities. This committee of leaders can brainstorm ideas, share successes and failures, and implement new strategies in their villages.

Leonard, an employee of the Washing Station and de facto counterpart of the STOMP Rwanda South team, has been instrumental in facilitating these discussions. The intervention would not be nearly as successful were it not for Leonard’s leadership and passion for the health and well being of his peers. I feel lucky to have crossed paths with Leonard and can’t wait to see where he takes us next.

I’m looking forward to utilizing the skills and strategies I’ve learned from Leonard and my fellow STOMP Rwanda team members at my own site this month.