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Monthly Archives: October 2023

October 12, 2023

On Wednesday, 11th October 2023, the Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda, Father Oscar Kagimbura, visited the Mahama refugee camp located in Kirehe District, to observe the interventions of the Graduation project, funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

First of all, Father Oscar Kagimbura paid a courtesy visit to Farhat Jabeen Khan, the head of the UNHCR sub-office in Ngoma district. Their discussions focused on training the beneficiaries of the Graduation project on the skills needed in the labor market or the community-needed businesses so that after the training and receiving the cash grant, they all graduated.

From left to right: Aimable Wilson Mbarimombazi (Mahama refugee camp-site manager / Graduation Project), Jean d’Amour Nsabiyaremye (Graduation Project Coordinator), Farhat Jabeen Khan (head of UNHCR sub-office in Kirehe district), and Father Oscar Kagimbura (Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda).

Father Oscar Kagimbura also visited the Ministry of Emergency Management office in Mahama camp. The camp manager, Vuganeza André, congratulated Caritas Rwanda for improving the lives of the refugees and the host community members and called for the increase in the number of beneficiaries from the camp and host community.

Indeed, among the beneficiaries of the Graduation Project, 70% are refugees from the Mahama and Kiziba camps, while 30% the host community members. Vuganeza André explained that increasing the number of beneficiaries from the host community will help to promote their financial autonomy in parallel with that of refugees.

After listening to the testimonies from the savings and internal lending community group called “Abadahigwa mu iterambere rya Mahama”, Father Oscar Kagimbura asked them to continue to strengthen their unity, and work with the financial institutions for their sustainable economic development. “The financial institution will trust you, based on your unity”, he said. The members of this group requested that other refugees who have not yet benefited from the Graduation Project’s interventions be supported, so that they can find something to do and get out of poverty, as the support especially that becoming increasingly scarce in the camp.

Meeting with Abadahigwa mu iterambere rya Mahama SILC Group.

During this visit, the Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda, who was accompanied by the Priest of Rusumo Parish, Father Buregeya Félicien, visited some Graduation project beneficiaries who run businesses in the Mahama camp market, as well as pig farmers outside the camp. After talking with them and seeing how they fill out books about their daily business, they ask them to keep working hard for their sustainable development.

October 6, 2023

With the aim of strengthening ECDs, Caritas Rwanda, through the #ECD Project funded by Plan International Rwanda, distributed various materials to 43 home based ECDs (HBECDs) in Gatsibo District. The distribution was held at Kiziguro Parish on October 3, 2023.

The materials provided to HBECDs are in line with the ECD six pillars, Nutrition, Health, WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) services, Parenting Education, School readiness, and Child protection and inclusiveness. Under WASH the materials distributed range from soap, jerrycans (to storing drinking water) and portable sinks known as “kandagirukarabe”.  Under school readiness, some various games and toys to awaken the child’s brain were distributed. The ECD caregivers also received a manual to use in educating and caring for children in ECDs and those modules have topics covering all 6 pillars of ECD.

In addition, the 43 HBECDs received wall sticky papers with letters, numbers, and words in other languages accompanied by pictures, as educational tools to teach children. Under the nutrition pillar, ECDs were provided with porridge flour SOSOMA and sugar as food supplements to promote the health and good nutrition of children under HBECDs.

During the distribution event, the ECD committees were reminded to promote hygiene and sanitation in ECDs, and to use the materials they had received for that purpose.

Addressing the ECD committees, Christine Kayitesi, ECD Project coordinator, emphasized the importance of hygiene in ECDs.

They were also asked to prepare a balanced diet for the children and to encourage their fellow parents to do so in their families. They were advised to use VSLA as a platform to cascade messages to parents.

The materials distributed are worth Rwf 10,203,500. In addition, parents and the caregivers were trained on the six pillars of the child development: nutrition, health, hygiene and sanitation, education, child protection and safeguarding, and brain stimulation of the child.

43 ECDs from Gatsibo district received the materials, which were received by the parent committees.

Early Childhood Development is a Caritas Rwanda project, which cares for the child from conception to 6 years old, intending to awaken his/her brain, preparing him/her for school, providing him/her equitable education, protect him/her against diseases and malnutrition, as well as any kind of violence.

Members of the parents’ committees who received these materials thanked Caritas Rwanda and Plan International Rwanda, Gatsibo Program Unit for their unwavering support, highlighting that they will facilitate the daily activities of the ECDs. They added that the received materials will raise parents’ awareness of the importance of ECD and encourage them to send children to ECD.

Ndagiwenimana Jean Bosco, one of the parents whose house hosts HBECD in the Kabarore sector, said that they received the materials they lacked for the smooth running of ECD activities. “For example, we had a single portable sink at the entrance. You know kids sit on the floor all the time and get their hands dirty. We will place the newly received sink at the toilet entrance. Children will wash their hands after using the toilet and be clean”, he said.