In Rwanda, HI in working on inclusive education projects to help all children benefit from schooling. The organizations also promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities at all level of society and helps at-risk people with need mental health support.
Children performing a show to denounce sexual violence - HI Rwanda | © W. Huyghe / HI
Actions in process
HI undertakes mental health actions with Rwandans who are suffering from psychological distress. The organization promotes the inclusion and protection of vulnerable people, including people with mental health problems and rehabilitation needs, in refugee camps.
HI takes action to help vulnerable children, especially children with disabilities, through inclusive education projects. The organization works with the Ministry of Education to guarantee access to education for all children, for example by training teachers and making buildings accessible for children with disabilities. HI carries out awareness raising and advocates for the strengthening of child protection processes, with the aim of protecting children from sexual violence. HI also promotes the involvement of young girls, teenage girls, and women who are victims of conflict in the Great Lakes region in education programmes run in schools and training centres, to ensure they are able to benefit from a school education or training.
In addition, HI implements actions to improve the prevention and care of epilepsy, especially for mothers and children, through the supply of anti-epileptic medication to hospitals and the training of health professionals in the prevention and management of epilepsy
HI also aims to provide quality and accessible rehabilitation services, notably by providing support to the Rwanda Occupational Therapy Association and by helping improve the quality of training for occupational therapists.
Lastly, HI promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in society, to access health care, education, sports and so on, in particular at community level. The organisation offers support to disabled people’s organisations to enable them to pursue actions to promote the rights and civic participation of people with disabilities.
Situation of the country
Even though the memory of the genocide and its consequences remain vivid, the country has known a rapid growth since 1994. The gross domestic product has raised and poverty and inequalities have been reduced.
The genocide of the Tutsis took place in Rwanda between April and July 1994. More than 800,000 people lost their lives in 100 days. Two decades later, the country is making significant progress: according to the World Bank, between 2001 and 2015, GDP growth average was at about 8% per annum, poverty levels have fallen and inequalities have been reduced.
One necessity remains: the protection and social inclusion of people with disabilities and vulnerable people. Indeed, despite the economic growth and the recent development of basic services, such as health care, housing and education, the Rwandan population includes a large number of people who are vulnerable both economically and from a psychological and social point of view.
Number of HI staff members: 118
Date the programme opened: 1994