On 21st April 2023, at Hotel Sainte Famille Caritas Rwanda held a handover ceremony between the outgoing Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda, Jean Marie Vianney Twagirayezu the Bishop of the Kibungo Diocese, and the new Secretary General.
In his speech at the ceremony, Bishop Jean Marie Vianney Twagirayezu thanked their Excellencies the member bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda for the trust they had placed in him to be the Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda. “Over the past seven years, I hope to have met the expectations of the organization and to have made its image more visible to our various partners and within the community”, he said. He also expressed his gratitude to Bishop Anaclet Mwumvaneza for his wise advice, which guided him in carrying out his tasks, as well as the staff of Caritas Rwanda who work tirelessly to contribute to its vision and mission while being animated by the values and spirit of Caritas. He congratulated the new Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda and wished him success in his new position while assuring him of his availability should he need advice to better accomplish his new mission.
Father Oscar Kagimbura said he was grateful for the trust placed in him as the new Secretary General of Caritas Rwanda. “I am aware that Caritas (love and charity) is at the heart of the Church’s mission of evangelization. Remember also that charity is both receiving and giving love. In order to fulfil these responsibilities, the contribution of each and every person is important. I would like to invite you to continue to support the activities of Caritas Rwanda and I assure you of our kind collaboration and of maintaining good relations with local and international partners”, he said.
Celebration of 10 years of USAID-Gimbuka achievements
The handover ceremony coincided with the celebration of the USAID-Gimbuka Program’s achievements (2012-2022). Among them we can mention that the Program reached a total of 96,687 children under five by improving their wellness and development.
USAID-Gimbuka also trained 47,575 women on the preparation of a balanced diet, including 7,200 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. 52,935 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) received education support (school fees as and school materials).
In addition, throughout the program’s lifespan, 15,422 pregnant and lactating women received livestock, including 8,675 goats, 2,273 rabbits, 2,104 chickens, 1,827 pigs and 543 sheep.
During the ceremony, some beneficiaries exhibited their income-generating activities resulting from the USAID-Gimbuka program, including those who make bread and donuts through sweet potato flour, those who make juice using beetroots, carrot, and those who process soybean into tofu, tailors and carpenters.
After the gallery walk, the USAID Rwanda Mission Director, Jonathan Kamin, applauded the work done by Caritas Rwanda under the USAID-Gimbuka program, promising to continue the collaboration. As for the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) Samuel Dusengiyumva, the country needs partners like Caritas Rwanda whose activities promote people’s economic development. “This is an example of reality. While we see many children coming out of school who are unable to find employment, with partners like the Catholic Church, we can improve their lives”, he said.
During an interview conducted after the ceremony, Bishop Anaclet Mwumvaneza said that although not all the poor are cared for, Caritas Rwanda is proud of the achievements of the USAID-Gimbuka program and continues to care for the most vulnerable through the Igire-Gimbuka, another 5-year program whose activities started in August 2022.
The USAID-Gimbuka program was funded by the US government’s “Feed the Future” program (which aims to develop agriculture sectors and break the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger), and the US President’s “PEPFAR” program which aims to fight the AIDS pandemic, through the USAID.