Impact Rwanda takes a holistic approach to meeting the needs of those who are desperately poor and vulnerable in Rwanda. Their focus is on empowering and equipping women, refugees, and at-risk children and youth by providing access to improved spiritual and physical health, education, and vocational training.
The program has three main projects — the Komeza Women’s Initiative, the Community Bible Church, and the Kiziba Refugee Education Project.
Detailed Implementation Plan
Community Bible Church
The Community Bible Church (CBC) has been experiencing slow but steady growth over the past six months. The focus on Biblical teaching and the unique leadership style of CBC continue to attract new people to the church. Recently CBC has been reflecting and preaching on the Sermon on the Mount; this has challenged the church to live out their Christian faith in a different, Gospel centred manner.
The children’s program at the church has been growing. Every Sunday children learn from the Bible, play together, and eat snacks. Children are inviting their friends and this has even helped to bring in whole families! Recently a lady visited CBC and shared, “I attend church somewhere else but I have three children who come to this church every Sunday and enjoy it very much. So I wanted to see the place my children love so much for myself!” Stories like this are a testament to the hard work of all those at CBC.
CBC appointed its first pastor, Byarugema Bienvenu. Here at CBC everyone calls him a “shepherd.” Bienvenu joined the church three years ago with his father. Shortly after joining the church Bienvenu became the leader of the children’s program and it was here that we saw his potential to be the pastor. He has a huge heart for the church and we are blessed to have Bienvenu lead CBC.
Children and Youth At Risk
In the last six months we have provided support for school fees, school supplies, food and shelter to 14 boys and girls in this program. The CYAR are a group of former street children and orphans who also receive spiritual guidance and mentorship so that they can become committed followers of Christ and productive members in the society. We are pleased to see some of them connected and actively involved in the church. We are also looking forward to seeing three of these children graduating from high school this year.
Kiziba Refugee Camp
Impact Rwanda works closely with refugees in Kiziba. We are focussed on supporting the Kiziba Community Library. This place has become a community centre for the entire refugee camp. The learning resources in the library have been particularly useful for the students and the teachers here.
Here is a snapshot of some of the activities that took place at the Kiziba Community Library:
- 3040 people used the Kiziba Community Library
- 98 students attended the English classes
- Teachers from the high school have been taking turns using the space and computers with their classes every month
- Every Saturday there is an educational movie and news shown on the projector
- Community members take advantage of the solar-powered electricity available to charge their phones and take the time to learn and read while they wait
Impact Rwanda also supported 22 refugee children to receive a Grade 12 education. This support helped them to pay for school fees and boarding, supplies and medical insurance. These 22 students are working hard in school and aim to write the national exams in November and graduate shortly after.
On June 20th Impact Rwanda celebrated World Refugee Day with the launch of a new music program in the Kiziba Community Library! This program is the result of a partnership with the OmniPeace Foundation. This program is for 8-16 year olds and teaches them different instruments and even incorporates artwork. The goal of the program is to empower and instill confidence in children who have lived in very difficult circumstances. The whole refugee community is very excited about the opportunity to learn and play music!
Komeza Women’s Initiative
The Komeza Women’s Initiative empowers vulnerable women in Kigali through employment and vocational training. Through working and learning at J. Lynn’s these women gain purpose and dignity. During the last 6 months two young women who work at J. Lynn’s were able to start university. There classes are in the evenings so they still work with us. The business training they received at J. Lynn’s has helped them determine which university courses are best for them.
We also were blessed through the help of an intern from Kepler University. Alicia, the intern, comes from the Kiziba Refugee Camp and worked with the Komeza Women’s Initiative for three months as part of her BA degree. She was a very fast learner and a large help to us. We will miss having her working with us, but we are confident that the skills she learned and the people she met while with us will have a positive impact on her life!
Stories of Transformation
Soki is an incredibly strong woman. Every morning she wakes up at 6 am to begin her chores before having to be at the Kiziba Community Library by 8 am. Here at the library she helps students, teachers, and other visitors participate in activities. After working for some time, Soki heads back home to cook some lunch and dinner for herself and her brother. She then goes back to the library where she stays and works until 8 pm. Life has been difficult for Soki and the days are long, but working in the library has brought a sense of purpose and dignity to her life.
Soki was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and was only four years old when her family became refugees. To escape the violence they left their home country and settled in the Kiziba Refugee Camp. Life was not easy for Soki growing up: her mom gave birth to twins but only one survived, her dad was killed after returning to the DRC, and later her mother disappeared after returning to the DRC. Soki was forced to live with her graeat-aunt in the camp, never knowing what happened to her mother.
Soki and her brother attended school in the camp and at the end of grade six, she was sponsored to attend a boarding school outside the camp. Tragedy struck again when her great-aunt had passed away. Soki was now the primary caregiver for her brother and herself. She persevered in school and in 2013 she graduated from high school.
Soki started volunteering with Impact Rwanda as a librarian at the Kiziba Community Library. After a while she began to be paid for her work and has been able to support herself and her brother through this job. Through funding from Impact Rwanda Soki was able to attend a six-week course on counselling which she has used to help girls in the camp. Here is what Soki has to say about her time at the Kiziba Community Library, “During my time at the library, I have learned a lot of things. I’ve learned customer service skills, how to think critically, good communication techniques, and have increased my self confidence. I received lots of knowledge from the different books I read and my English improved through classes organized by Impact Rwanda at the library.”
Through all the opportunities Soki has taken advantage of and through her hard work and determination she was able to get into a university program. She will be studying at the innovative Kepler University and can even still work at the library in her spare time. This is an exciting time for Soki, her hard work and dedication are producing results. We have been blessed at Impact Rwanda to watch the transformation of this woman with a very sad history become the shining example she is today. It is now very hard to find her without a big smile on her face!
In February, a partnership agreement was signed with OmniPeace Foundation to start a music program in Kiziba refugee camp. This organization started the Rwanda Rocks music school in Kigali last year and was interested in working with Impact Rwanda to bring a similar project into the refugee camp.
An Impact Team from Waterloo MB Church will be in Rwanda from July 28 to August 15th.
|Total Income January-June 2017||$71,271|
|Total Expenses January-June 2017||$89,966|
|Overall 2017 Budget||$214,912|