Staff Spotlight Series: Anysie Ishimwe
This month, we will be featuring several of our staff, fellows, and interns in a special series to highlight both the various aspects of our work as well as the amazing individuals who make it happen. As our work is interdisciplinary in nature, so is our staff. This series will underscore just how important the many moving pieces are to fulfilling our mission and work at Gardens for Health. We truly operate under our motto: “Turi Kumwe”- we are together!
Our first staff spotlight features Anysie Ishimwe!
Anysie serves as GHI’s Partnerships Fellow and is responsible for identifying and pursuing important local partnership opportunities. She works across teams on the ground to plan, execute, and follow-up on external partnerships and support the external training process.
Gardens for Health visits Kuzamura Ubuzima
By: Anysie Ishimwe
On Wednesday, July 26th, Stephen Alajajian and I went to the Southern Province in Huye district to visit Kuzamura Ubuzima (KU)—a local NGO that has been partnering with GHI for the last two years. I have recently been added to the team as the Partnerships Coordinator and will be coordinating all of GHI’s external partnerships. Stephen Alajajian is the current Senior Nutrition Technical Advisor on the health team and has been advising an external partner in Guatemala on the implementation of kitchen gardens for the parents of stunted and acutely malnourished children.
The purpose of the visit to Kuzamura Ubuzima was to learn different, practical ways in which the existing partnership can be strengthened and sustained moving forward. Stephen, in particular, was interested in learning different ways that agriculture and healthcare intertwine in a hospital setting, with the hope to replicate the same model with our partner in Guatemala.
Kuzamura Ubuzima is a hospital-based project that grows crops on hospital land to provide patients with balanced, nutritious, organic meals, which government hospitals are unable to provide in Rwanda. The organization is based in Huye at Butare Hospital, also known as Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Butare (CHUB). The project was started by various doctors and nurses including Medie Jesena, a pediatric nurse, and Emily Esmaili, a pediatrician who realized that prescribing drugs to a hungry patient is counterproductive and harmful in many instances. CHUB, being a referral hospital, welcomes patients and caregivers from the farthest corners of the country and most of them have already spent such a significant amount on transport fees that they cannot afford the additional expenses of staying at the hospital. KU was started in the spirit of preventing the patients from malnourishment while at the hospital.
Currently, KU feeds around 110 patients at the Butare Hospital. To be able to do so, KU purchased 2.5 hectares of land from the hospital property that used to be uncultivated land. Now, they have a beautiful garden that grows a plethora of vegetables, sweet potatoes, and sorghum even in the dry season.
However, as innovative as this project is, the current resources can only feed less than half of the patients because the the garden crops need to be complimented by other foods purchased from the market.
GHI stepped in to provide health trainings to the trainers affiliated with KU in which they learned several of our methods include the Four-Color Wheel and the One-Pot One-Hour models. The patients and staff still refer to these when they make food choices and/or when they prepare meals. GHI was also very active in the planning of the garden at KU, although there was no official agriculture training provided.
Personally, I was very impressed by the size of the garden, the variety of crops, and the green leaves that persisted even in the dry season. You can really tell that the garden is well taken care of and that those managing the farm are very knowledgeable on when to plant specific plants and how to rotate plants in a timely manner so that the soil is healthy and, more importantly, so that patients are fed all year round.
The staff of KU expressed endless gratitude to GHI and they continually emphasize the positive effect of GHI training on their own trainers and the communities they serve. They foresee the impact of future GHI trainings reaching the farthest communities where some of their patients and their caregivers are from.
In reflection of the visit, Steven said, “KU has a thriving farm growing a phlethora of nutritious vegetables (even in the dry season), an enthusiastic staff who clearly love what they do, and a model in which fresh produce from the farm goes directly to nourishing hospital patients who would otherwise have no access to nutritious meals or any food to eat for that matter.”
Moving forward, KU would like GHI to continue this partnership and to provide further health trainings as well as agriculture trainings. Although they have permanent staff who take care of the garden, they are still in need of the technical skills that such training would provide. It is extremely encouraging to see that, even in the areas we cannot reach ourselves, there are organizations, like KU, that we can partner with to ensure families are healthy and agriculture is used as a tool to fight malnutrition. KU is doing remarkable work at the intersection of agriculture and nutrition that is filling an acute need in Rwanda and is reflected in the enthusiasm of their employees. At Gardens for Health, we are extremely proud to have played a role in their success and are deeply inspired by their work.
Donate to GHI today to make access to healthy food a reality for families across Rwanda.Donate Now!
About the Author: Anysie Ishimwe
Anysie grew up in Kigali, Rwanda and later attended university at Hope College in Michigan where she majored in Psychology and Business Management. During her second year in college, she volunteered as a health educator for Water Access Rwanda—a water solution provider based in Kigali, Rwanda. The following year, she worked for Partners in Health in Boston, MA as a development intern. Before graduating, she studied abroad in the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland where she learned about health policy from various organizations in the area, and conducted an independent research project on access to cancer care in Rwanda. When she is not occupied with the above, Anysie is an amateur runner, podcast listener, avid reader, and lover of everything musical.
Amakuru ku bakozi: Anysie Ishimwe
Muri uku kwezi, tuzabagezaho abagize nyobozi, abakozi, n’ abimenyereza akazi mu buryo budasanzwe twerekana ibikorwa byindashikirwa mu murimo wacu n’abagize uruhare mugukora ibi bikorwa by’indashikirwa. Nkuko akazi kacu kagabanyijwe mo ibice bitandukanye, kandi n’abakozi bacu. Aka gace karibanda k’uburyo buri kimwe cyose kijya mbere kiba kigamije kugera ku ntumbero yacu nakazi m’umurima w’ubuzima. Mu byukuri dukora turangajwe imbere n’intego yo kumva ko: “Turi Kumwe”
Umukozi wacu wa mbere tubagezaho uyu munsi ni Anysie Ishimwe!
Komeza gusoma cyane kugira umenye amakuru menshi uburyo Anysie aherutse gusura umwe mubafatanya bikorwa b’umurima w’ubuzima witwa “Kuzamura Ubuzima”.
Kuri uyu wagatatu w’icyumweru gishize, abakozi bacu babiri aribo Anysie Ishimwe hamwe na Stephen Alajajian, bafashe urugendo berekeza mu karere ka Huye ho mu ntara y’amajyepfo mu gikorwa cyo gusura umuryango utegamiye kuri Leta witwa “Kuzamura Ubuzima” (KU) urangije imyaka ibiri ufitanye imikoranire yahafi hamwe n’Umurima w’Ubuzima (GHI). Anysie akaba yarongerewe mu itsinda nk’umufanyabikorwa n’umuhuza bikorwa akazakurikiranira hafi umubano w’umurima w’ubuzima (GHI) nabandi bafatanya bikorwa bo hanze. Stephen Alajajian n’inzobere mu bijyanye n’imirire akaba n’umujyanama w’itsinda rishinzwe ubuzima, nanone yafashije umufantanya bikorwa wacu wo hanze muri Guatemala kubijyanye no gushira mu ngiro akarima k’igikoni kubabyeyi bafite abana bafite ikibazo cy’imikurire n’ikibazo cy’imirire mibi.
Intego nyamukuru y’uru ruzinduko yari ukwiga ibintu bitandukanye, kwiga uburyo umubano uhari ya KU na GHI wakomezwa ndetse ukaramba. Byumwihariko Stephen yari arajwe ishinga no kwiga uburyo butandukanye, ubuhinzi bwahurizwa hamwe na gahunda zo kwita k’ubuzima mu mavuriro, harebwa niba ubu buryo bwakwifashishwa mu bafatanya bikorwa bacu bo muri Guatemala.
Kuzamura Ubuzima (KU) ni umushinga ukorana n’ibitaro, ugahinga imyaka k’ubutaka bw’ibitaro kugirango ushobore kugaburira indyo yuzuye kandi ifite intunga mubiri ku barwayi, aho ibi bidatangwa n’ibitaro bya Leta mu Rwanda. Iki kigo kikaba gikorera mu karere ka Huye ku bitaro bya kaminuza yi Butare, bizwi ku zina nka CHUB. Uyu mushinga watangijwe n’abadogiteri batandukanye hamwe n’abaforomo harimo Medie Jesena, umuganga wita ku bana, hamwe na Emily Esmaili umuganga w’abana waje kuvumbura ko guha imiti umurwayi ushonje ntacyo bifasha kandi ko bishobora no kumugiraho ingaruka m’uburyo butandukanye. CHUB, nk’ifatizo, yakira abarwayi n’ababyeyi baturutse mu bice bitandukanye byakure mu gihugu kandi abenshi batakaza amafaranga bafata imodoka rimwe na rimwe bakabura amafaranga abafasha kubona ibintu byingenze mu gihe barwariye mu bitaro. KU ikaba yaratangijwe ifite umugambi wo kurwanya ikibazo cy’ imirire mibi kubarwayi mugihe bari kwa muganga.
Kur’ubu, KU ifungurira abarwayi bagera kuri 110 barwariye mu bitaro bya Butare. Kugira ngo ibi bigerweho, KU yaguze hegitari 2.5 z’ubutaka bw’ibitaro ubusanzwe butakoreshwaga. Ubu bafite akarima bateye mo ibihaza, ibijumba, hamwe n’amasaka ndetse no mu gihe cy’izuba ryinshi.
Kurundi ruhande, uko uyu mushinga ugenda uhanga udushya umutungo/ibikenewe ntabwo bihagije kuburyo bidashobora guhaza icyakabiri cy’abarwayi bityo ibyo tweza bikaba bikenera kunganirwa n’ibituraka kw’isoko. Kugirango umurwayi yemererwe kujya muri porogaramu yacu, aho aturuka ugereranyije n’aho ibitaro biherereye n’icyiciro cy’ubudehe nibyo byibandwaho.
Umurima w’ubuzima ukaba warafashe iyambere mu kujya guha amahugurwa ajyanye n’ubuzima ku bakozi bakorana na KU. Tukaba twarabasangije uburyo bwacu bw’uruziga rw’amabara ane hamwe n’inkono imwe mu isaha imwe. Abarwayi n’abakozi bifashisha uru ruziga rw’amabara ane mugihe bagena ibijyanye n’ifunguro bagomba gutegura.
Umurima w’ubuzima wagize urahare rukomeye mu gikorwa cyo gutegura ibijyanye n’umurima wa KU, n’ubwo nt’amahugurwa ajyanye n’ubuhinzi yatwanzwe mu buryo buziguye.
Anysie Ishimwe yagize ati, “Nashimishijwe n’ingano y’akarima k’igikoni, urusobe rw’imyaka, n’amababi yicyatsi mu murima hose muri iki gihe cy’izuba. ushobora kubona ko umurima witabwaho cyane kandi ko abashinzwe kwita ku murima bafite ubuhanga cyane kubijyanye no kumenya igihe cyiza cyo guhinga ndetse n’igihe basimburanya imyaka mugihe runaka kugirango ubutaka bukomeze kurumbuka kandi icyingenzi kugirango bahaze abarwayi mu mwaka wose.”
Abakozi ba KU bagaragaje uburyo bishimiye bidasubirwa Umurima w’ubuzima (GHI) kandi berekanye akamaro k’amahugurwa atangwa n’umurima w’ubuzima (GHI) kubakozi babo basanzwe bahugura abandi no ku miryango ikorana na KU. Bakaba babona akamaro k’amahugurwa y’umurima w’ubuzima (GHI) mugihe kizaza ko azagera ku miryango myinshi aho abarwayi n’ababyeyi baturuka.
Mubyagaragariye Stephen Alijajian, yabonye ko “KU ifite umurima ushobora kweza ibihaza bikungahaye kuntunga mubiri haba ari no mugihe cy’izuba. KU ifite abakozi babanyamuhati kandi bakunda akazi kabo, kandi ko bafite uburyo bifashisha bahinga imboga mumurima hanyuma umusaruro ukagaburirwa abarwayi badashobora kubona ibyo kurya bifite intunga mubiri cyangwa ibindi byo kurya ibyo ari byo byose.”
Twihuse, KU yifuza ko GHI yakomeza uyu mubano kandi ikomeza gutanga amahugurwa ajyanye n’ubuzima kimwe nandi ajyanye n’ubuhinzi. Nubwo bafite abakozi bahoraho bita ku murima, baracyakeneye ubumenyi mu buryo bwa tekiniki bemerako bashobora kububonera muri ayo mahugurwa. Byari ibyigikundiro uburyo byagaragaraga ndetse naho tudashobora kugera twebwe ubwacu, hari imishinga nka KU ishobora gukora ubufatanyabikorwa kugirango bazamure ubuhinzi- nk’intwaro yakwifashishwa mu kurwanya ikibazo cy’imirire mibi kandi no kumenyako imiryango ifite ubuzima bwiza. KU irimo gukora akazi keza cyane iziba icyuho kiri hagati y’ubuhinzi n’imirire myiza ikenewe mu Rwanda kandi ibi byerekanwa n’abakozi babanyamurava babo. Mu murima w’ubuzima twishimiye kuba twaragize uruhare mukubafasha gutera imbere kandi natwe twishimiye cyane ibyo bakora.Donate Now!
Anysie yakuriye mu mujyi wa Kigali mu Rwanda, nyuma yaje gukomeza amashuri ye ya kaminuza muri kaminuza yo muri leta zunze ubumwe z’Amerika izwi kwizina rya Hope College iherereye muri leta ya Michigan aho yize ibijyanye n’imiterereze (psychology) n’imicungire ya buzinesi (Business Management).
Mu mwaka we wa kabiri muri iyi college, yakoze igikorwa cy’ubukorera bushake nk’ umwarimu w’ubuzima mu mushinga witwa “Water Access Rwanda”— Umushinga ukorera I Kigali ugamije kugeza igisubizo kirambye ku kibazo cy’amazi.
Mu mwaka ukurikiraho, yakoze nk’umufatanya bikorwa mu bijyane n’ubuzima I Boston, aho y’imenyerezaga akazi mu bijyanye n’iterambere(Development Intern). Mbere yuko asoza amashuri ye ya kaminuza, yigiye i Geneva, na Switzerland aho yize ibijyanye n’ingamba zo kubunga bunga ubuzima mu bigo bitandukanye, sibyo gusa, nawe yaje gukora ubushakashatsi kugiti cye kubijya n’uburyo abanyarwanda babona amahirwe yo kubona ubuvuzi bwa kanseri. Igihe yabaga adahugijwe nibi byavuzwe hejuru, Anysie ni umukinnyi mwiza w’umukino wo kwiruka,akunda gukirikirana ibiganiro bica kuri televiziyo, akunda gusoma ibitabo, kandi akaba akunda no kumva indirimbo.