Redemption Song Foundation gave out mattresses to the Kalehe Batwa families after each one improved their homes with mud. The brand was “Sleep King” and our manager Charity told me that a couple of them joked that they would be sleeping like kings and queens!
This is no small thing. We last bought them mattresses a few years ago and living in mud homes, they get ruined faster than in a home you might be used to. We also handed out a bedsheet for each family getting a mattress. Mattresses are too expensive for them to afford at this time -- especially right now during the pandemic when all tourism has ceased (the country's borders are still sealed to visitors). They typically live on less than a dollar a day, and that's when they had dancing income. Now, they are getting money by selling handiwork, such as wooden mingling sticks, woven mats, and also firewood.
For the past few weeks, we have delivered food, soap and other items to the Kalehe Batwa. Other items we have provided and/or will soon provide include hand towels, hoes, storage buckets, plastic jerry cans, cups, bowls, spoons, jelly (like lotion for their skin), and toothbrushes and toothpaste. The Kalehe Batwa's sole source of income comes from tourism, and that’s temporarily gone—we aren’t sure for how long.