From Monday 27 to 28/03/2023, the Ordinary General Assembly of Caritas Rwanda was held at Hotel Cenetra-Kabuga and ratifiedthe implementation of the recommendations of the General Assembly 2022, where the achievements went up to 98%.
In his opening remarks, the President of Caritas Rwanda and Bishop of the Nyundo Diocese Mgr Anaclet Mwumvaneza recalled that Caritas Rwanda has continued to serve the poor and other vulnerable people as it should, despite the economic shock linked to COVID-19 and amplified by the rising market prices following the war in Ukraine.
Bishop Anaclet Mwumvaneza added that to better continue serving the poor, Pope Francis asks everyone to make a personal and community examination of conscience and to ask themselves if the poverty of Jesus Christ is their faithful companion in life (Cfr Pope’s message on the 6th World Day of the Poor).
He then thanked the participants who had been able to celebrate the Day of the Poor (Sunday 13 November 2022) in beauty, communion and sharing with the poor in hospitals, approved health facilities (FOSA), parishes, as well as all the basic ecclesial communities.
The Secretary of the Nunciature in Rwanda, Father Thomasz Gdula, followed suit, using the words of His Holiness Pope Francis to the members of Caritas Italiana: “Today, there are so many challenges and difficulties, the faces of the poor and the complex situations are more and more numerous in the world.
To overcome these challenges, His Holiness Pope Francis proposes three paths, added Father Thomasz Gdula: There is the path of the poorest, which consists in helping them. The second indispensable path is the path of the Gospel because it is enlightened by the love of neighbour. The last path is the path of creativity: the imagination, of charity that pushes us to seek new solutions in all the circumstances of life in the service of the poor.
The recommendations of 2022 were accomplished at 98%
The various departments (Administration and Finance, Socio-charitable activities and Animation, Health, and Development) of Caritas Rwanda presented the achievements of the year 2022, following the recommendations of the General Assembly of Caritas Rwanda 2022. Indeed, it was said that the recommendations have been successfully implemented (98%).
The Administration and Finance Department was able to rehabilitate existing buildings; increase the staff contribution to the charity fund, which reached 95 million rwf; strengthen partnerships with stakeholders; and build capacity for monitoring, evaluation and reporting, through organising financial audits, project evaluations, and data collection, analysis and storage.
Regarding the socio-charitable activities, the following achievements are observed:
-Vulnerable people have been taken care of;
-Celebration of the World Day of the Poor;
-Inauguration of the Caritas Byumba’s Incubation Center in the rehabilitation and reintegration of young people leaving prisons;
-Orphans and children from unprivileged families (OVC) who were in TVET have graduated in the culinary arts how about other trades?;
-The distribution of school materials to OVC by the USAID/GIMBUKA Program;
-Caritas spirit in school Caritas (children who help children from disadvantaged families).
In the Health Department, the world day of the Sick was celebrated at Caritas Rwanda’s level (Ruli Hospital) and at the diocesans Caritas level. In addition, 22,700 people benefited from educational sessions aimed at improving their nutritional status, while 2,327 people with acute malnutrition were identified and transferred to health facilities. Also in the Health Department, 39,309 new and old couples had access to Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods.
For the Development Department, , the agro-pastoral production capacities of the beneficiaries have improved, and their financial and rural entrepreneurship capacities strengthened, and are resilient to climate change.
The General Assembly recommended that Caritas Rwanda harmonize and strengthen the coordination of the volunteer system by focusing on the mobilisation of young people, the collaboration between the Episcopal Commission in charge of health care, strengthening collaboration and synergy between Caritas Rwanda, the Episcopal Commission in charge of the family and the National Service for Family Action (SNAF), as well as the revitalization of development activities in all diocesans Caritas.