On September 28th 2022, Mohyeldin (Mohy) Omer, the Senior Advisor from the USAID Washington/African Bureau together with the USAID Rwanda team led by Justin Troy DiVenanzo, the USAID Mission Supervisory Contracting and Agreement Officer, visited Caritas Rwanda / Igire-Gimbuka project in Rubavu District. Other Rwanda team members included Joshua Vetter from the Program Office, Joseph Rurangwa from the Democracy and Governance Office and Esron Niyonsaba from the Health Office.
The purpose of the visit was about a localization agenda to draw lessons on how the process of reaching and empowering more local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can be improved and scaled up.
Mr Ildephonse Kambogo, the Rubavu District Mayor welcomed the Guest of honor (Mohy) and his delegation. He highlighted the USAID Gimbuka project achievements during the last two years (2020-2022). It was amazing to hear from the Mayor that Gimbuka assisted 9,283 under 18 infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, along with 1,735 caregivers in the area of access to health services and improved social wellbeing.
The guest of the honor, Mr. Mohy addressed participants saying that the localization idea resulted from long discussions on how USAID can shift from the international to local implementers of its development agenda for sustainability purposes. “Our next four years plan is to be able to award 25% of our money to local organizations and Rwanda is well positioned to play a leading role in identifying and engaging local actors’’ he said.
After the meeting with Rubavu District local authorities, the delegation met with USAID Gimbuka’s community volunteers, beneficiaries and other community partners in the program implementation. Participants informed the guests that through the ISIBO and other local structures (Villages, Cells, Sectors and Districts), and through the grassroot gatherings, they discuss issues, challenges and their opinions inform the performance contracts formulation at various entities/levels of decision-making. They also shared with the visitors the experience they had working with Caritas as a faith-based organization, highlighting key principles of inclusion and non-discrimination witnessed by the attendees from different denominations, other than Catholic Church.