Rostow Asoumani, Bukavu

We raised awareness among the population to build a bridge (...) I feel a deep sense of satisfaction when I watch people crossing it.

Rostow, a committed "activist"

Member and coordinator of Youth's Dynamism for development, Rostow belongs to the type of people who work daily to improve the lives of others. Thanks to his actions in the organisation, he has helped to create bridges - constructions that are as much architectural as they are human. With Youth's Dynamism for development, Rostow puts the inhabitants of South-Kivu province at the centre of his commitment. Compassion, mutual help and humanism are his key words, and listening to his stories is enough to understand what that means.
We have built bridges in almost every city and in several territories of the South-Kivu province.
The bridges are at the centre of Rostow's action and his commitment. More than a piece of infrastructure, they are for him a way of connecting people, of giving them access to safe and quality constructions, to live a normal life.

"Deeply touched, ready for change"

When asked to give an example to illustrate the meaning and the urgency of his actions, Rostow tells us about his recent project in the Nyalukemba district.
A bridge existed before but was carried away by a stream of rain. The inhabitants were confronted with a very difficult situation. It disturbed the traffic and daily life. We were the witness of great misery.
For instance, to get to the school on one side of the river, children from the other side needed to either take a detour of several kilometers or to try to jump over it. "We even found children in the ravine", he remembered, filled with emotion. With a slight tremble in his voice, he tells us what was for him the most shocking event.
What upset us the most, was a pregnant mother who fell in the ravine. And because misfortune never comes alone, she lost her baby because of the fall.
Confronted by the gravity of the situation, Rostow and his organisation decided to take action, but not without difficulty. He tells: "we first interested the district leader, we didn't find a solution. We went up to ask the mayor, we didn't find a solution either. Finally, it's by asking the major stakeholders that the project was able to kick off.

A bridge built for and with all

Rostow admits that without the inhabitants' help, the project would never have seen the light of day.
"We had some things ready, but it seemed insignificant without more help. That's when we asked the whole community to help us to move the wood".
It is thanks to this awareness, lead by his organisation that the financial means could be mobilised and people were reunited. Rostow concludes, with pride in his voice: "we built the bridge and now everybody crosses it without any problem".

The development as an objective

Rostow sees his actions as a human, practical and economical service. The difficulties lived by populations without access to reliable infrastructure are countless. From children walking kilometres and hoping to arrive at school on time, to business men confronted with transport issues hoping that this doesn't obstruct their business. Offering a solution to this situation, is what justifies Rostow's efforts and that of his organisation.
I feel a deep sense of pride when I watch people crossing this bridge without the difficulties they had before.
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