CSOs’ coalition launches a project to help vulnerable people cope with Covid-19 crisis

By Elias Hakizimana.

As Rwanda Government continue to combat Covid-19 and help vulnerable categories of most affected people, the coalition of four The coalition of 4 organizations (CSOs) launched on June 22, 2020, a new project to deliver social economic response to needy people.

The coalition that is implementing the project include: Strive Foundation Rwanda (SFR), Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion (RNGOF on HIV/AIDS & HP), Health Development Initiative (HDI) and Ihorere Munyarwanda Organization (IMRO) with funding support from the European Union (EU).

Speaking during the official inauguration of this project at Groupe Scolaire Kagugu yesterday, Bernard Muramira, the representative of this coalition explained how they came up with the initiative.

Beneficiaries include LGBTI Community, Sex Workers, Young mothers, vulnerable families with children under 5 years.

“We put together efforts to support vulnerable people in Kigali city with special problems. Covid-19 came surprisingly and its crisis affected some vulnerable categories like LGBTI Community, Sex Workers, Young mothers, vulnerable families with children under 5 years. Some among them are HIV positive and take drugs. As they cannot manage to find food during this period, we need to prevent them from going out in truck drivers to look for money and come back with the pandemic.” Muramira said.

The project will support 2000 people from Kigali city, Rubavu and Rwamagana districts with food and hygiene materials delivery. As they kicked it off, 200 people in Kigali city have benefited from the initiative.

“Today we have distributed them to 200 people and we will go on doing so to others next time I partnership with local authorities.

The overall project will have over Rwf 159 Millions according to MURAMIRA. Beneficiaries are owed various kinds of food commodities including rice, maize flour, beans, sugar, salts, mixed flour for porridge and milk to nourish U-5 year’s old children and cooking oil. They are also given hygiene materials like soaps and toilet papers.

Food stuffs ready to be delivered to needy people at G.S Kagugu in Gasabo District. /Courtesy photo

Dr. Thomas Kurz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Rwanda said: “We are here demonstrating our support as Team Europe. Being a partner of Rwanda, we have already quite a number of similar projects to support most vulnerable especially during the lockdown. Many people suffer and during these weeks, we have quite a number of projects. For the embassy, a big number of initiatives are coming from Europe especially Germany, through a number of established contexts,”

Nicolas Belomo, European Union Ambassador to Rwanda reiterated that it is their part as Team Europe to give response to the covid-19 crisis in Rwanda.

“We are here today to kick off the project we are supporting and it is being implemented by the coalition of Rwanda Civil Society Organizations. We are here with European Union and member states to show our solidarity in combating covid-19 crisis in Rwanda, we are working with the government to deliver social economic response through the expansion and extension of existing social protection mechanisms, we are also working on a number of activities with CSOs, we work on the ground in a full part and complementarily with local authorities,” he said.

He explained that they have recently signed an international contribution scheme of Rwf22 billion with the government of Rwanda to continue combating the covid-19 as part of Team Europe Response.

“If we combine the work done so far by the government and our member states, we have over Rwf100 billion contributions to the covid-19 crisis to leave no one behind among the most vulnerable people,” he added.

The boxes of milk packs to be given to young mothers with U-5 Children.

Beneficiaries speak out

Consolée X who represents the Female Sex Workers welcomed the project, saying that they used to suffer from hunger because their job was hindered by the lockdwn. “Some of us could spend three days without eating, we could welcome any client (a man) regardless of where he comes from and we cannot think if or not he has covid-19,” she noted.

Alice Ufitamahoro is a young mother who gave birth at 17 year old. She explained how she was impregnated by a man and rejected after her mother died. The now 19 years old mother says she used to survive up on daily activities in decoration of wedding ceremonies but covid-19 became an obstacle. She appreciated the project and support saying: “This support will help me to feed my child and my two young sisters we live together,”

elias.theinspirer@gmail.com

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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