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.
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.
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.