Impact Rwanda takes a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the desperately poor and vulnerable people of Rwanda by engaging with education and skills training, health and nutrition, income generation, and safety and security. We focus on women, refugees, and at-risk children and youth.
Program budget for 2013 $209,614
|Income for 2013||$174,224|
|Expenses for 2013||$165,552|
Rwanda is a country recovering from genocide, an uprising that built gradually over many years and erupted in violence in 1994. Close to 1 million people died in a terrible sequence of events that pitted neighbour against neighbour, split families and tore apart an entire nation. Today, there is a new feeling of hope in Rwanda as post-genocide programs of forgiveness and reconciliation and social and economic development are implemented
Accomplishments & Highlights
- In July, we finished the construction of the Kiziba library and by September the library was operational. We have been supporting its management and daily operations since its opening and as a result, reading activities are going well averaging 80 people per day. In July, the first load of books donated by JRS, was delivered to the Kiziba Community Library. The books are now being used by people of all ages within the camp. We hope that they will be a great source of learning to many in the camp.- In August, September, and November, we have provided school support to 36 boys and girls under the Children and Youth at Risk project, and 5 university students of the Kiziba refugee camp. The support included school fees and supplies, accommodation, food and other scholastic needs. With this support students were able to study and perform well at school.
- In August, we successfully organized a worship dance camp for two weeks in partnership with Restoration Church. The camp gathered 80 participants from ITRW, Ubuzima association and Restoration church youth and children. The purpose was to impact the life of children/youth spiritually and to fellowship with them through entertainment. We shared the word of God through different topics, children learnt different style of songs and worship dance.
- Since July, multiple visits were organized to 2 families that accommodate 11 youth of the children and youth at risk, with the purpose of sharing the Word of God. In October and December, we organized two weeks of discipleship, the main topic was how to develop relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result children and youth are progressively improving in their behavior and the knowledge of the word of God.
- In August, regular visits to 3 students in the boarding school were realized with the purpose of helping them improve in their performance. As a result, they have succeeded well in class and improved their behavior at school.
- In November and December, we successfully organized a holiday program for 20 days for around 17 children under the children and youth at risk program. During the holiday program, we have covered Bible stories, basic English, counselling, entertainment and games. Children and youth were well occupied and they enjoyed spending time together.
- From August- October, we came alongside the group of women at Jlynn’s to encourage and support them. We organised Bible teaching session during devotion time every morning before the 17 women get busy with their daily work of cooking, baking, cleaning and serving people.
Health and Nutrition
- In July, in partnership with JCM, we organized the second sport tournament. This tournament gathered 6 football teams, 6 boys’ teams of basketball, 4 girls’ teams of basketball and around 30 marathon runners. Basketball training was also held and around 25 youths participated in learning basic basketball, umpiring and coaching skills. In December, the third tournament was organized with the participation of 6 football teams, 6 basketball teams, 12 marathons, karate and acrobatics competitions. Prizes including sport equipment were distributed.The purpose of these sporting activities is to occupy the youth of Kiziba refugee camp in order to prevent and protect them from evil activities such as drugs, sexual violence and other form of delinquency which is common in the camp.
- From July to December, we have successfully provided monthly food support to three families that accommodate 17 children/youth and 2 parents who take care of them. Because of this support, these children don’t have to worry about whether or not they will have food to eat everyday.
- From July through December, we have provided medical support to children and youth at risk. This support has tremendously helped in keeping these children/youth in good health. Around 20 children/youth benefited from this support, including Clarisse, who has psoriasis.
We continued to provide advice to Alice and Claudine, two women from Ubuzima that we supported to start their own businesses. Both Alice and Claudine sell charcoal. While Claudine is struggling with her business, Alice is doing well and has started to pay back the capital loan. We pray and hope that they continue to do well and grow. The goal is to see these mothers become self-sustainable and able to care for their families.
Liz continues to work with Nathalie, a Congolese refugee and single mother of five children,who lives in the Kiziba Refugee Camp, to develop products to create income for Nathalie, along with other young women. Some of the products she made were sold at JLynn’s shop.
Safety and Security
Since July, we have been successfully paying monthly rent for 3 families. With this support we have provided shelter to 13 children/youth and 2 parents. Without the money to pay for rent, these boys and girls would be on the street or some other place that is not safe.
In December, we have provided clothes and shoes to 17 children/youth under the children and youth at risk program. Because of this support, their self-esteem is build up, they are safe and they don’t feel or look different from other children/youth in the society.
In December, Benjamin graduated from university with distinction. This makes him the first ever student from Kiziba to graduate from university. Benjamin lost both parents when he was still young and spent all of his teenage life in the refugee camp. After completing high school, he had no hope of continuing his studies. God sent him a pastor from Ontario Canada, who supported him financially, spiritually, and loved him like a father. He says that the support he received changed his life. His next step is to find a job to support himself and to help other refugees.
In September, International Teams Rwanda (ITRW) was registered with the Rwanda Revenue Authority and the Rwanda Social Security Board. The purpose of this registration was to comply with the government requirements regarding taxes. We are proud to contribute to the development of the country through payment of taxes.
In November, four students (former street children) wrote the national exam which is the last for high school level. The results are expected to be released in by mid-February.
The work to produce a Memorandum of Understanding MoU between ITRWa and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR is underway. Once it is ready, the MoU will serve as the official agreement of partnership between ITRW and the UNHCR.
We had no short-term teams during the last 6 months of the year 2013.
Two Interns from Ontario volunteered with us. Katrina Draper arrived in May, and left in July. Katrina’s internship was part of her studies in peace and conflict. She helped in various activities of ITRW and spent time meeting people to learn about peace, conflict, and reconciliation.
Aliza Latta arrived in mid-June and left Mid-August. Aliza helped run the dance camp together with Esme Clarke (a volunteer from Australia). She also spent time visiting people and learning about Rwandan culture.
In November and December we were blessed to have the support of Katie and Liz, both friends of Kelly. Their support involved teaching basic English and counselling during the holiday program. The children/youth enjoyed them very much.
In August, we have had the privilege of receiving Janice Collins, National Director of International Teams Australia, who came for one week to visit ITRW and see what Joel and Liz have been doing in Rwanda.
Challenges, Needs & Lessons
- Changes in the government scholarship policy have affected 3 university students. We are required now to raise $500 extra for each student to cover their tuition fee.
- Two boys, Twizeyimana Nshuti and Murwanashyaka Valens, were excluded from the children and youth at risk project. This decision was taken after all attempts to help them change their behavior had failed. We are going to organise more counselling sessions and follow up for those still in the program.
- It is becoming increasingly difficult to look after the former street children who are now big boys. We are planning to find family members (for those who have them) and encourage them to live together. We will continue to support those who need help.
- There is a need to develop a system to effectively manage the inventory and the distribution of books in the Kiziba Community Library.
- There is a need to construct a toilet in Kiziba refugee camp for the library users.
- There is a need to provide electricity to allow people to use the library during evening hours.
- Shipping of books from Canada and New Zealand is still being worked out.
- There is a need to sponsor students in Kiziba refugee camp who cannot continue school after grade 9 due to luck of scholarship.
- In the next six months, besides maintaining the existing programs, Impact Rwanda plans to:
- Continue to disciple and fostering children, provide shelter, school fees and school supplies to the children and youth at Risk.
- Fill the library with books and start the construction of a toilet at the library.
- Continue sporting tournaments and start reading competitions in Kiziba camp.
- Continue to disciple Komeza women, train and mentor them to be entrepreneurs.
- Assess the possibility of starting a Bible camp project in Fumbwe near Lake Muhazi.
- Implement various activities as described in the 2014 Action Plan.
International Teams Rwanda is grateful to all who have supported our programs financially or with prayers. Because of your support, lives are being changes.