Kantarama Ernestine is 53 years old and a member of the Shooting Touch Women's Basketball Program in Nyamirama, Rwanda. A few years back, Kantarama lost a 13 year old daughter to malaria. Living only a three minute walk from one of the five Shooting Touch basketball courts in the Eastern Province, Kantarama decided to join the program, feeling hopeless from the tragedy, but fully acknowledging the health benefits available once she joined. In Kantarama's first three months, she never missed a day of practice. She found joy with the women, she was receiving health education, and most importantly, she was in the process of receiving health insurance for her entire family, something she did not have when her late daughter was suffering from malaria. During the paperwork process to finally receive health insurance, access to malaria treatment and much more, Kantarama lost her second child to Malaria. Her 28 year old son was working in the field, sick, and collapsed. When Kantarama didn't show up to practice for six consecutive days, our coaches asked around about one of their most consistent players. After hearing the news, all of the Shooting Touch coaches went to console her and her family. Wondering if they would ever see Kantarama again, our coaches continued to do their work, and thankfully, Kantarama bravely returned to the court two days later. She did not want to lose another child to an easily detectable and curable disease.
Today, Kantarma, her husband, and her seven children have health insurance, sleep under mosquito nets at night, and are receiving health education and basketball programming daily from Shooting Touch. Kantarama has been a member of Shooting Touch for two years now and couldn't be happier with her decision to remain in the program, allowing her family to live a healthier life.