Serving the local population since 1978
ADRA worked in Rwanda before and during the genocide, and we continue to implement programs to develop the nation and its citizens. These include: education, health, economic empowerment, food security, and disaster relief. ADRA Rwanda employs 182 staff to ensure success in all of our programs across the nation.Make a difference around the world
Did You Know?
ADRA Rwanda partnered with UNHCR to build 143 classrooms and 134 latrines for refugee children in the Southern Province.
To date, 3.5 million books and 249,000 pairs of TOMS shoes have been distributed to the most vulnerable students.
Approximately 6,080 households received training and start-up inputs in permaculture, irrigation, harvesting, and environment protection.
Thus far, 550 community-based groups have partnered with ADRA Rwanda to promote social change and economic empowerment.
Placidia holds a new pair of shoes in her hands. Her shy smile has grown, and today the 6-year-old is practically beaming as she clutches the simple, black canvas slip-ons. These are the first shoes she has ever called her own.
Placidia is the youngest of seven daughters. Her mother is a widow in one of the oldest and poorest areas in the Kigali region of Rwanda. Everything Placidia owns has likely been passed down through her sisters, and she treasures this new gift she has received.
“I am very, very happy to receive my first real shoes!” she told us. “I will wash them with water.”
Partnering with TOMS and their One for One program, ADRA distributed more than 84,000 pairs of the brand’s shoes throughout Rwanda in 2013.
Children who don’t have proper shoes miss out on a lot in life and even risk their health. If children have to walk far to get to school, not having shoes to make the journey means they miss out on getting an education. When children play outside with ill-fitting or broken shoes, they risk injury, and when they play with no shoes at all, they risk getting tetanus, hookworm, or even worse illnesses.
ADRA is a partner with TOMS as part of their One for One program. Every time someone buys a pair of the brand’s iconic shoes, the company donates a pair for someone in need. ADRA gets to deliver those shoes and put them in the hands of excited children like Placidia.
“I’m proud to be wearing real shoes,” she said. “My favorite thing is playing in break time and jumping rope with shoes.”
ADRA delivered shoes to more than 84,000 people in Rwanda this past year alone. The One for One program is worldwide, meaning ADRA delivers shoes everywhere, from Madagascar to Kyrgyzstan.
Cynthia Wibabara is not like most 9-year-olds. When she comes home from school, her first priority is not to watch TV or make a snack for herself. She doesn’t start on her homework right away or take an afternoon nap, either. The first thing Cynthia does when she gets home from school is to check on her goat. And she has good reason, because this goat is sending her to school.
Cynthia is one of 127 students affected by ADRA’s sponsorship program. But it is not simply the cash-for-tuition style sponsorship. Such a program is unsustainable—when the cash is gone, it’s gone. A goat, however, is the gift that keeps giving. Especially a female goat, which keeps giving as many as three times a year. And in the agrarian Gatsibo district of eastern Rwanda, such a gift is well received. The manure fertilizes the crops, which in turn feed the goats and the people, creating an expanding system of health and prosperity.
Dan Kubwimana, an 8-year-old recipient of a goat, has passed the generosity on to his neighbors in a very literal way. When his goat gave birth to two kids, he gave one to the family next door. “I wanted to contribute to peace,” he said. In the post-genocide society, these gestures are invaluable for fostering unity, and have not gone unnoticed. Many other students have given baby goats to their neighbors as well.
These results are exactly what ADRA strives for. Giving money is useful but very temporary. A goat, however, teaches sustainability and accountability, and binds the community in a common goal. And yes, it provides income, too—far more in the long run than could be given in a single monetary donation.
Mrs. Wibabara knows this, having observed how her daughter cares for the goat and responsibly reaps the benefits. “I am no longer worried about my daughter’s studies,” she said. “Her goat will allow her to complete her studies without any problems.”
Some students need tutors, some need special curriculum, and others just need a goat.
Jefferson Kern, Country Director
Capacity Statement OverviewIn the process of recovery and healing, Rwanda is looking to the children of genocide survivors and perpetrators. These young adults are recognized as the future of development, and are being trained accordingly. The Action for Social Change is a program implemented with the help of ADRA Rwanda to support and strengthen locally rooted civil society, especially in rural communities that lack infrastructure and education. Many of the youth within these communities have formed groups to address poverty and social change, and ADRA Rwanda is encouraging them with supplies and training to better assist their development. Examples include classes in goat rearing, sustainable farming, and organic produce, as well as peace and reconciliation and governance.
Our Capacity Statement further highlights the projects, programs, and people of ADRA Rwanda. Download the ADRA Rwanda Capacity Statement
Country OverviewOver the past 20 years, Rwanda has risen from the ashes of genocide. The government has stabilized, and the economy has strengthened. However, socioeconomic problems still exist; 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, with arable land decreasing. Because there is only one doctor for every 18,000 people, treatable infections like tuberculosis, malaria, and diarrhea destroy countless lives.