Three hundred (300) vulnerable families in Nyarugenge District, Kigali City have been supported by the coalition of FOUR Civil Society Organizations (CSO), with food and hygiene materials amid COVID-19 pandemic crises.
The coalition includes: 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).
The occasion which was marked in Kimisagara Sector, on Wednesday 8th 2020, brought together needy families from key populations namely sex workers, LGBTI Community, teen mothers and vulnerable families with children U-5 years.
In separate interviews with Pressbox, different beneficiaries expressed their pleasure and benefits from the donations.
“It is a very good initiative to me, as it is going to help me improve survival at home with my child who depends on me. I am not making money nowadays because of COVID-19, so this will keep my hopes alive during my next stages of recovery.” Ingabire, young mother said.
Another beneficiary is Uwase, head of her vulnerable family in Kanyinya Sector, who said: “We have been lacking a balanced diet at home, so these foodstuffs will improve our nutrition with my three kids as I will be looking for other solutions.”
According to Kabandana, member of LGBTI Community, Coronavirus pandemic has caused upsets on people in general, being the reason why such a support is very advantageous.
“On my side, I used to live on income from short-term jobs found in inns. I have no occupation now, because COVID-19 has halted everything.” He uttered.
The project came to further the government’s stringent measures, in the wake of COVID-19, to combat the spread of the pandemic by ensuring all vulnerable populations who are staying at home and whose daily survival was threatened by the pandemic are provided with food and sanitary materials.
Speaking to the media amid the occasion, Charles Havuguziga, Executive Secretary of Kimisagara Sector expressed his appreciation for the support.
“We are delighted with this initiative thanks to benefactors, partners of the government. This support is a very important contribution to such key populations. It is a boost to what the government plans for citizens in fighting COVID-19 pandemic with its consequences to people” He said
The initiative also aims at upholding the CSOs role in contributing to improved lives of vulnerable populations at the community level through advocacy and service delivery, according to project implementors.
Bernard Muramira, Executive Director, Strive Foundation Rwanda – serving as chairman of the coalition – explained to the media the motive behind bringing such initiative.
“We know well that there are both economic and social consequences of COVID-19 on key populations. Life is not easy at their homes, as some of them live with diseases requiring to take regular medicines. We knew that there are teen mothers who need such a support to survive.”
Muramira promised the beneficiaries possible recovery assistance in further upcoming projects from the coalition.
The three-month period project which will be implemented in the City of Kigali, Rwamagana district and Rubavu district targets 2000 vulnerable populations in total.
Though – having freshly been contributing to the government’s call to support vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19 with food items to survive the lockdown – the coalition of the FOUR organizations has been active since 2010, working together to improve the legal environment of Key population especially in decriminalization of Female sex workers and MSM from the Rwanda Penal code; and currently trying to end stigma and discrimination faced by the key population at the community level.