How Many Floors Have We Completed?
As of January of 2017, EarthEnable has installed over 32,000 square meters (345,000 square feet) of healthy earthen flooring to directly replace dirt floors. This has translated to more than 3000 Rwandans in over 100 different villages who no longer have to live on a dirt floor and can lead healthier lives. We serve customers in 2 districts and 10 different sectors of Rwanda with plans to expand to 2 additional districts of Rwanda during 2017.
Total Square Meters of Flooring Installed
Further, we have employed more than 80 people full-time. Part of our organizational culture is to invest significantly in the professional development of our staff. We have frequent coaching sessions and check-ins, and are constantly reshuffling duties and responsibilities for our teammates to grow into more senior roles. Youth unemployment is high in Rwanda, and as a result, it is very common for Rwandans to graduate from college without jobs. We believe it's our responsibility to hire and train bright young stars in Rwanda who want to be part of Rwanda's development.
Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa located just south of the Equator and bordered by Burundi, Uganda, Congo, and Tanzania. Though small (just 10,000 square miles), it is very densely populated, being home to almost 12 million people.
Rwanda is also stunningly beautiful, filled with lush green mountains, thousands of species of flora & fauna and nearly half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. But things aren’t always easy here. Rwanda is completely land-locked, which means it can be very difficult to bring supplies into the country and that any supplies brought in will be quite expensive and often difficult for locals to afford. The economy is based mainly on agriculture with almost 90% of workers working on farms.
You might know Rwanda for another reason. Rwanda is a country only 20 years out of one of the most devastating genocides in world history. But Rwandans are focused on moving forward. The economy is growing about 8% per year, life expectancy has doubled to 60 years, and infant mortality has decreased. Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go. Rwanda ranks 176th out of 188 countries for infant mortality rates, in the bottom 10% for overall life expectancy, and only a small fraction of children complete secondary education.
Dominic is a 42 year husband and father of six, living in the village of Gisenyi where he farms beans and maize. He learned about EarthEnable at a community meeting and after seeing floor at a friend's house he wanted one built for his family immediately. In his words "Everything in the house was always dirty... My last born 4 year old daughter kept getting sick and the dirty environment was not helping despite doctor’s visits. Since I got the EarthEnable floor she is happy and healthy plus the house looks beautiful. People come to visit me more often and want to sit in the house." Since building a floor, Dominic became an EarthEnable advocate for his village, and seven families in his village now have a floor they love.
Emerence is a 72 year old woman originally from the Congo. She was one of only a few people in Nyamata city who still had a dirt floor, but concrete was too expensive so she had no choice but to continue living on dirt. EarthEnable trained new masons by providing her with a free floor. She loves that her home now is dust free and can be washed and swept clean. She takes pride in her new floor.
Jean lives in a small home in Nyamata with his wife and 9 young children. Most of the children would sleep in one room of the house, and the floor could not be cleaned even after the small children would wet the bed. The children got sick regularly and the house smelled terrible as the odors from spills and childrens’ accidents piled on top of each other. EarthEnable's waterproof floor means that throughout the whole home, floors are now able to be washed and cleaned. This has significantly improved the quality of life for Jean and his children.
Sylvester is 38 year old farmer from Mwogo. He was living with his wife and 4 children on a dirt floor in the home he built 5 years ago. His children fell sick frequently and cleaning the house was difficult, but he couldn't afford concrete. In October he heard about EarthEnable and signed up for a floor. His 15 year old daughter says she is so happy she can now mop the floor and the whole family is living a cleaner life. Best of all, Sylvester was so happy with his new floor that he decided to pay for a floor to be built at his mother's house across the road!
Jean Bosco, 33, lives with his 3 children in a small house in Juru. For 7 years, he had been living on a dirt floor as concrete was too expensive for him to build. As a result of living on dirt, his children were getting sick and constantly needing to stay home from school. In the rainy season, the house would become very muddy and dirty. When he heard about EarthEnable he immediately wanted to buy a floor! He says, "My kids are healthy and my wife is proud of my decision, all my neighbors come everyday to look at my floor and three of them have decided to get the EarthEnable floor".
Jean Pierre is a mason from Masoro, who used to work as a day laborer. Some days, he would make money, and other days he would not; it was largely up to luck. His family constantly worried if they would have enough money or not. Since EarthEnable employed him, he has been able to learn new skills and earn a consistent salary for his family. He has also thoroughly enjoyed benefits such as paid leave, health insurance, and a pension which he never received as a day laborer.