USAID Gimbuka, is a USAID funded project implemented by Caritas Rwanda under USAID-Caritas Rwanda Cooperative Agreement since 2012. The project is undergoing its third phase (2020-2022), covering RUBAVU, RUTSIRO, KARONGI, NYAMASHEKE and RUSIZI districts, with a particular focus on either OVC infected and affected by HIV/AIDS or victims of S/GBV. On 7th October 2020, Caritas Rwanda, Rubavu local entities, Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) services, Catholic Churches Parishes’ Priests, RIB, people hindering SGBV problems among others met in Rubavu district to discuss, share ideas and officially launch USAID Gimbuka Project.
The District Adviser in the opening remarks has expressed his confidence in Caritas Rwanda for the outstanding results in the implementation of Caritas Rwanda /USAID Gimbuka project. He stated that based on Rubavu geographical position (bordering Republican Democratic of Congo) USAID Gimbuka will play an important role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and SGBV among women and men crossing the border to the either side of both countries for businesses.
Whereas the previous two phases of USAID Gimbuka focused on OVC support, Nutritional and economic strengthening interventions, the third one (2020-2022) will focus on OVC from 0 – 17 years’ old, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS or victims of SGBV to achieve the following results: (1) Improved health and wellbeing of OVC and their families (2) Improved health of adolescents and youth at-risk; (3) Strengthened prevention and response to violence against children and youth and (4) Strengthened capacity to address the health needs of individuals at high-risk.
Main activities will include but not limited to: Education sessions addressing SGBV to adolescent and youth; Provision of economic empowerment to targeted OVC’s parents, 9-17 years old OVC through Integrated Saving and Lending Group support; Enrollment in market-based Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), Provision of scholastic materials, school fees and monitoring to OVC is primary and secondary schools. The Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs Mrs. Pacifique ISHIMWE, expressed her satisfaction that the USAID Gimbuka targets the entire district, focusing on HIV, SGBV and economic interventions for OVC and their families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
She promised the district and all its partners involvement in the program implementation success. She commended Caritas fairness and transparency through beneficiaries’ identification, which matters the most for the success of the Program.
Father Jean Paul RUTAKISHA, Director of Caritas Nyundo/Gisenyi has revealed the partnership with other existing projects mentioning Mpaka Shamba Letu among others, a CEJP project supporting women/men with crossing border businesses for their families’ survivor, which puts them and their children left at home at risk of HIV and S/GBV.
After program sharing and discussions, some recommendations have been made: Fairness and honesty in beneficiaries targeting (1); Keeping confidential all beneficiaries’ information and data (2); To carry out an immediate contact of all stakeholders to gather acquired information (3).
In a separate meeting, the priests as representatives of Caritas at Diocesan and Parish levels have expressed their commitment to support USAID Gimbuka implementation and agreed to advocate for the program in their respective Catholic Church locations.