Mulindi Japan One Love marks 20 years

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Gatera and Mami Rudasingwa are the founders of the Mulindi Japan One Love Project. (File)

Mulindi Japan One Love Project (MJOLP), popularly known as Kwa Rasta, is celebrating twenty years of existence this Friday.

The project supports Rwandans who were physically impaired during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi by offering them artificial limbs, crutches and wheelchairs free of charge.

The day-long event kicks off at 9a.m, and will be crowned by a live music performance, where local musicians that the project has supported over the years will entertain guests and show solidarity with the project.

There will be presentations on the activities of the Mulindi Japan Orthopedic Workshop and its ICT school, a partnership between One Love and the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).

Certificates of attendance will also be awarded to beneficiaries of the project; “Income generation through ICT training for People with Disabilities.”

Based in Kimihurura, a Kigali city suburb, the Mulindi Japan One Love Project was founded in 1996 by Gatera Rudasingwa, a Rwandan, and Mami Yoshida, a Japanese. The two later became husband and wife.

“One Love is celebrating 20 years having been set up in the immediate aftermath of  the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” said Gatera.

“We have invited government officials, the private sector, soldiers, ambassadors, and friends of Rwanda to come and celebrate with us this achievement. We want to enjoy and celebrate with them twenty years of Mulindi Japan One Love Project helping people with disabilities by giving them prostheses (artificial limbs), crutches, wheelchairs, and teaching them basic computer skills, among others. This is a milestone for us,” he added.

He explained that since its inception in 1996, the project has helped some 7,800 persons with disabilities in Rwanda, and another 3,800 in Burundi, all free of charge.

“As Strong Voice and other musicians who will be performing, we are honouring One Love as a special place that has supported us in our music by offering us the venue free of charge; it’s something big for us so we have to celebrate,” said Heritier Dusabimana, from Strong Voice, a reggae band.

About Mulindi Japan One Love Project

The project was established in 1996, to support survivors of the 1994 Genocide who had been physically maimed and disabled.

Its implementation started in 1995, a year after the Genocide had been stopped by the RPF.

It manufactured artificial limbs for persons with disabilities, and some of the first beneficiaries were casualties of the Genocide and victims of Polio.

Gatera himself contracted Polio at an early age after receiving a wrong injection and, today, moves around on crutches. 

The project receives financial and material support both from government and partner non-profit donor entities.

Its premises in Kimihurura, a city suburb are also synonymous with outdoor entertainment and live music events.

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