The first time I drove past this village, I fell in love with it. At a glance, it looked like the location of my dream rural home. Since I was rushing to the neighboring Akagera National Park, I made a mental note to return for a familiarization tour.
When I returned, I was introduced to a local tour operator namely John Habihirwe. John is the founder of a company known as Village Walk & Bike Tours Rwanda. His business offers walking/cycling tours and camping. In addition, the company guarantees unmatched community-based and cultural experiences. 30% of the revenue generated by this venture goes directly to the community.
Through Hirwa Children’s Foundation, John’s tour company has built a school in a bid to transform livelihoods through education. The said school provides free nursery and adult learning programs.
"Our mission is to provide free high quality education, proper housing, healthcare and nutrition for the benefit of destitute children in the community. "We are committed to helping them improve their living conditions and build a brighter future." He told me.
The school is still under construction but available classrooms are currently catering for 65 nursery school children and 30 adults. The latter are beneficiaries of a program known as Agility Literacy.
"Village Walk" is an excursion designed to enable visitors to experience the daily lives of Dusabane residents. Dusabane is derived from a Kinyarwanda word gusabana which can loosely be translated as getting together and connecting socially. A leisure walk around Dusabane will give you an opportunity to do some gusabana with members of the host community.
I chose to ride a mountain bike around the village. I did so while towing a beautifully designed trailer carrying my camping gear. While touring my beloved Dusabane village in style, I drew a lot of inspiration from John’s initiative and the community he loves dearly.
My experiences at Dusabane showed me that you don’t have to be rich to make a difference. It’s not the size of your wallet but the size of your heart that matters.
I already feel like part of this community. Maybe, I have found the location of my dream rural home. It was love at first sight.
The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Kayonza is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, Imigongo Art Center, Silent Hill Hotel, Jambo Beach, Ihema View Campsite, Akagera Rhino Lodge and Exposure Ltd.