Mount Kenya University Rwanda in a Visit to Caritas Rwanda USAID GIKURIRO Program in Nyabihu district

USAID Gikuriro Program is an integrated nutrition and WASH program for five years (2015-2020), a USAID Program award to Catholic Relief Services in consortium with the Netherlands Development Organization, SNV. The program aims to promote better nutrition, health and hygiene in communities through improved health and agricultural techniques as well as a variety of behavioral change activities, with the use of village nutrition schools, farmer field learning schools and saving internal and lending communities’ approaches.

On Saturday, 22nd June 2019 Caritas Rwanda, USAID Gikuriro Program hosted a delegation of Mount Kenya University Rwanda lecturers (3) and students in Masters of Public Health (45) and RBC representative. The visit aimed at getting to know how the Program addresses stunting (chronic malnutrition) in the Community and how the Non-Governmental Organizations collaborate with the government institutions to implement nutrition sensitive activities.

Visitors provided balanced diet to children U5 Visitors were welcomed by both the Coordinator of Gikuriro Program and Mulinga Sector in Charge of Social Affairs and were briefed on the program implantation and impact on people’s life.

The delegation was accompanied to Mulinga Sector of Rubare Village, one of 8 Sectors of Gikuriro Program implemented in Nyabihu.  Visited 7 households enrolled in Gikuriro groups shared with participants on adoption of acquired knowledge in Bio Intensive Agriculture and WASH practices promoted by Gikuriro Program. At Rubare Growth Monitoring and Promotion nearby established Farmer Field Learning School demonstration plot, participants were entertained and testimonies were presented by beneficiaries. 

Visitors had the opportunity to share with Gikuriro beneficiaries from Village Nutrition Schools or VNS (2), Saving and Internal Lending Community groups or SILC (2) and Farmer Field Learning Schools or FFLS (2) at Rubare Village. Community Health workers and Parents Lumières conducted the screening of malnutrition for 90 children who shared a balanced diet prepared for the purpose of nutritional education. The VNS members perform activities related to handicraft and sell produce in local markets thanks to the support by the Program. As of the date of the visit, the cumulative saving amount in the two groups was 2,500,000 Frw and members were able to request for a loan amounting 300,000 Frw per member.

The visitors appreciated Gikuriro Program for the positive changes made in people’s lives and contribution to solving poverty and malnutrition in Nyabihu district.