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Monthly Archives: November 2023

November 22, 2023

Caritas Rwanda joined the Saint Charles Lwanga Nyamirambo Parish on 19th November 2023, to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the International Day of the Poor. The ceremony began with a holy mass at the parish, followed by food sharing and the distribution of gifts to the poor.

Father Jean Pierre Albert Kaberamanzi who celebrated the mass, referred to the message of Pope Francis for this International Day of the Poor with the theme “Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor” Tob 4:7. In this message, Pope Francis says that the celebration of the World Day of the Poor is a fruitful sign of the Father’s mercy and a support for the lives of our communities and that its celebration becomes more and more rooted in the pastoral life of the Church, to enable us to discover ever the heart of the Gospel[1].

Pope Francis says that the elderly Tobit mentioned in this book did not only ask his son to worship God but also encouraged him to make concrete gestures, carry out good works, and practice justice.

After the Holy Mass, guests and around 200 invited poor people gathered in the Josephite Brothers Congregation’s conference room at Nyamirambo to continue the celebration of the day. The speeches of various participants were centered on love and, more specifically, sharing with the poor. The lunch of the day was shared and various gifts were given to the poor in that event. In his speech, Father Jean Pierre Albert Kaberamanzi explained that the word Caritas means love, and added that this love must be accompanied by charity works towards people around us.

Father Jean Pierre Albert Kaberamanzi explained that Caritas means love.

Nsabiyaremye Jean d’Amour, acting director of Caritas Rwanda’s Department of Social Welfare, who delivered his speech on behalf of the Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda, said that the Church’s teachings on love should be applied everywhere, that the person who receives assistance could also help someone else, if possible because even if a person feels poor, there is always someone else who may need his/her help. Everyone should listen to the poor, sympathize with the poor, and assist him/her.

Cécile Mukandamage, in her testimony, said that Caritas supported her enormously. “You know, it’s not easy to live in Kigali while you are poor. But Caritas provided me with food, clothes, and a house rent fee”, she said.

During the distribution of gifts, the students from Les Hirondelles de Don Bosco school offered school materials to the students from Rugarama Primary School. There was also the distribution of gifts (food) to the poor in this ceremony. The poor, who participated in the event, also received transportation fees of Frw 2,000 each.

the students from Les Hirondelles de Don Bosco school offered school materials to the students from Rugarama Primary School.

[1] https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/poveri/documents/20230613-messaggio-vii-giornatamondiale-poveri-2023.html

November 18, 2023

Together with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) and Rubavu District, Caritas Rwanda through its Igire-Gimbuka program conducted the campaign against gender-based violence with a focus on teenage pregnancy prevention in schools. It was held from 15th to 16th November 2023, in Rubavu District schools.

This campaign was carried out in the GS Rubavu II and GS Shwemu from Rugerero sector (on 15th November 2023) and GS Rambo from the Nyamyumba sector (16th November 2023).

The message was delivered through songs, dramas, and acrobatics demonstrations, which focused on calling on girls to avoid peer pressure that can cause them to adopt bad habits, and talk to parents when they see changes in their bodies and/or when they are sexually abused. They were also told that the sexually abused child should be immediately taken to the nearest Isange One Stop center to receive first aid and for evidence conservation.

Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle acrobats perfoming at GS Rubavu II.

After the theatrical performances by the Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle club, the students were asked about teen pregnancy prevention at school, and also had time to ask the presenters questions to gain a better understanding.

Aurelie Nyiransabimana, the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Specialist (Caritas Rwanda / Igire-Gimbuka Program) interacting with students about the teenage pregnancy prevention.

Speaking at the campaign in various schools, Ms. Aline Umutoni, Director General of Family Promotion and Child Protection at MIGEPROF, encouraged girls to take good measures to prevent sexual violence against them, which can lead them to become parents while still children, and ruin their future.

As part of the campaign, the brightest students in the 2022-2023 school year (5 girls and 5 boys per school) were rewarded with notebooks, registers and pens. The girls also received sanitary towels for use during their periods.

Most brilliant students for 2022-2023 school year were given notebooks, registers, pens and sanitary pads for girls.

The figures provided by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, as observed in the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2019-2020 published in March 2022[1], show that teenage pregnancy is at 5.1% among women aged 15-19 countrywide and 4.1% Western province (Rubavu: 5.5%, Karongi: 0.5%, Rutsiro: 2.1% and Nyamasheke: 2.2%).

This campaign was conducted in preparation for the 16 days against Gender-Based Violence, which is scheduled to begin on 25th November and end on 10th December 2023. The national theme for this year is: “#Unite! INVEST to Prevent GBV”.

[1] https://www.statistics.gov.rw/publication/1779

November 10, 2023

The “Youth for Youth” Project, which aims to support young people’s economic development through hybrid online and in-person support solutions, was officially launched on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, in Gicumbi District. It is implemented at both the national and diocesan levels by Diocesan Caritas in collaboration with the Episcopal Commission for Youth (CEPJ), under the coordination of Caritas Rwanda, with funding provided by Catholic Relief Service (CRS).

The Youth for Youth project was officially launched by Bishop Papias Musengamana of Byumba Diocese and Mrs. Parfaite Uwera, the acting Mayor of Gicumbi District at the Byumba Incubation Center for young people released from Prisons. Father Martin Nizigiyimana, the CEPJ secretary, and the priests caring for parish youth attended the event. There were also representatives of the private sector, financial institutions, youth, and executive secretaries of the sectors where the project will be implemented.

Bishop Papias Musengamana of Byumba Diocese and acting Mayor Parfaite Uwera officially launched the Youth for Youth in Gicumbi District.

In his speech, Bishop Papias urged everyone to work together from the start of the project until its completion. He added that it is an opportunity offered to young people, and asked them to take advantage of it. He called on youth having business ideas to submit them to the Youth for Youth Project staff, in order to have them developed into profitable projects.

Bishop Papias Musengamana of Byumba Diocese urged the youth to take advantage of the Youth for Youth Project.

Madame Parfaite Uwera thanked the partners for contributing to the Gicumbi youth’s economic development and promised the partnership so that the project’s objective would be achieved satisfactorily.

Acting Mayor Parfaite Uwera promised the partnership, in order to accomplish the project objectives.

Youth for Youth is a two-year project that is part of a series of projects aimed at youth economic development. This project will replace the “Gera Ku Ntego” Project which is also aimed at economic development through savings and internal lending groups.

On November 1, the Youth for Youth Project was launched in Rusizi District. It is planned that this activity will continue in other Catholic dioceses.

November 8, 2023

With the aim of reviewing the organization’s policies and other documents, 19 Caritas Rwanda employees with different responsibilities met in Musanze district (Fatima Hotel), from October 29 to November 3, 2023. During this workshop, the vice-president of Caritas Rwanda, Bishop Vincent Harolimana, who visited them on November 2, thanked them for the remarkable work they do, and invited them to pay more attention to the poor.

In four work groups, the employees reviewed over twenty documents, including policies and other documents about code of conduct, employee capacity building, procurement, anti-corruption and fraud, conflict resolution, information technology, communication, and other topics.

Every morning, they shared what they discussed in the groups on the privious day.The vice-president of Caritas Rwanda and the Bishop of the Diocese of Ruhengeri, Bishop Vincent Harolimana, paid a visit to the workshop participants toward the end of the day on Thursday, November 2, 2023. He thanked them for their outstanding work but reminded them that their work is not like any other job; rather, it is a shared mission of evangelization with the Catholic Church, which they should do well in order to improve the lives of many people they serve, who need love and support.

Bishop Vincent returned to the conclusions of this year’s synod which was held from October 4 to 29, that redefined the poor as the person who expects love, respect, acceptance and recognition from the Church, and who should receive more consideration. He added that apart from the poor, there are other categories of people who need love, including violence survivors, especially women, victims of human trafficking, the elderly, fetuses, and other people who need more attention. He asked Caritas Rwanda staff to show tenderness for the participants in various programs implemented by Caritas.

Bishop Visenti Harorimana reminded Caritas Rwanda’s staff that the mission they received is unique, a common evangelization mission with Caritas Rwanda.

The Caritas Rwanda’s policies are reviewed every five years. This team revised 15 existing policies, and developed 2 new policies and other documents used by Caritas Rwanda.