MOUCECORE: Mobilizing Communities for Holistic Transformation
Blood:Water has partnered with MOUCECORE in its mission to bring about transformation at the community level in Rwanda since 2009. Working through solidarity transformation groups that grow out of the local church, MOUCECORE mobilizes communities to bring about holistic development.
Through our partnership, important lessons have been learned about how to effectively and sustainably bring WASH to a community. The key? Raising up local leaders and mobilizing the community to take total ownership of the project.
In the volcanic region of northern Rwanda, there was not a water source nearby, so each day community members walked six hours to reach the nearest lake. But through a mobilization program, women in the community started building water tanks. MOUCECORE partnered with them to start a rain tank project to support and extend the work they started. Within three years, the project had completely ended the water crisis in the area!
With water available, the community turned its focus to improved latrines for healthy sanitation. The rocky soil in the area made traditional pit latrines impossible to construct. So MOUCECORE met with the local water committee to present various solutions. Together, they opted for ecological latrines. These latrines not only improve health through safe sanitation, but also provide compost to allow community members to farm, which the local soil typically makes very difficult.
As the sanitation project advanced, the community joined in to provide local material, labor, infrastructure maintenance, and peer education. Because the community members who would be using the latrines had been trained and involved in the project design, the new techniques were fully adopted! So although MOUCECORE’s project phased out, community members are continuing latrine construction to this day.
Currently, our partnership is helping to support the WASH initiatives MOUCECORE has extended to southern Rwanda, where the hilly landscape creates a huge water challenge. When MOUCECORE began working in the communities in the southern region of the country, government pipelines were available, but they were a long distance away. The communities needed support to bring water from the main pipe to the villages. Based on their experience in northern Rwanda, MOUCECORE knew the people in the community would need to mobilize around the WASH issues to make any project a success. So that is just what they did.
Once on board, community members provided the land for the pipes and, together, began digging the trenches. A committee was elected by community members to manage each water point, and provide hygiene and sanitation training. Today, all four of the planned communities have access to sustainable, safe water! And, through community-led total sanitation, improved sanitation facilities are being promoted at the household level, and trainers are being trained to promote hygiene behavior change.
These are all indicators of the holistic transformation taking place in the lives of the individual community members because of MOUCECORE’s commitment to comprehensive WASH solutions.