In 2017, Libya made headlines around the world. An investigative journalist blew the lid off the inhuman treatment of the refugees and asylum seekers mainly from the Horn of Africa countries who were trapped in Libya with hopes to cross the Mediterranean Sea and then to Europe. That is when leaders of the African Union which at the time was chaired by President Paul Kagame, resolved to find a lifesaving, protective and durable solution for the refugees. Rwanda agreed to temporarily host these people before they can be processed for relocation to third-party countries. This is how Gashora Emergency Transit centre was set up, thanks to a tripartitite agreement signed between the government of Rwanda, the African Union and the UNHCR. Last week, The New Times had a guided tour of the centre which is accessible by a one-hour drive from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Located in Gashora sector, Bugesera district, the facility has hosted a total of 1,055 refugees and asylum seekers since September 2019. Nevertheless, only 457 remain in the facility as of today whereas 628 have been resettled to third party countries like Canada, France and Sweden among others. Resettlement to the third country is one of the durable solutions provided to the asylum seekers and refugees by UNHCR alongside repatriation to own land or integration in the host community. Persons of Concerns (POCs) who are mainly Eritrean, Sudanese and Somali youths living in the camp look happy, healthier and relaxed. Apart from daily meals, free accommodation and constant supply of domestic materials, each POC is provided with Rwf50,000 per month as their living allowance. Touring through the camp, they all have available infrastructures to allow them cope with mental health which was affected by the life they’ve been through in Libya. Crossing the gates of the camp, you pass through an occupational therapy centre where women often come to learn how to weave traditional materials and hair dressing among other life skills. This, according to the camp management, allows them to cope with mental issues caused by life in Libya as they occupy their mind. At the entrance of the facility, you can also observe young boys and girls singing and playing guitar and piano all as part of the efforts to restore their mental health. Further inside the camp, there are other activities that one will find in any urban setting, including a driving school. Here, we found four Eritrean young boys taking a drive as part of their exercise. Apart from the driving school which has trained 160 students, there is also ICT centre and a school where residents learn English. A health facility in the camp to avail free medical services and a basketball ground are among other infrastructures to boost the livelihoods of the PoCs. The African refugees in the centre hail the government of Rwanda for the hospitality and support. Aisha Abdallah is a mother of two daughters and they have all spent half a year in Rwanda. “We are thankful for Rwanda, we do not encounter any problem, so far we’re good compared to the insecure environment we’ve been through, in countries without rule of law, with detentions and violence,” she observed. Abdallah added that in the centre, she has been able to learn more skills like driving and some language skills. Her colleague, Zemen Fesaha who arrived in the camp in July 2021 also attests to the soft life he is living through in Gashora ETM of Bugesera district. “The life in Libya was so horrible and difficult, movement for us was limited, some were tortured in detention camps, and even if I’ve been lucky to be here, my friends are still suffering in Libya, it is a horrible experience,” he recalled. “In Rwanda, I can walk, move freely and do everything I want, so I can’t compare my current life to the life in Libya, because there, you only survive that day and you won’t know what’s coming up tomorrow,” he added. Zemen aims to become a social worker and help victims of the life he’s been through, and he requests the government of Rwanda to evacuate more refugees who are going through the horrible experience. Gashora ETM is currently being upgraded to accommodate more refugees. Apart from Gashora, Rwanda is also a home to nearly 130,000 refugees from around the region. Previously, Rwanda signed an MoU with the United Kingdom to host illegal migrants crossing to Britain and this has drawn more comments that Rwanda is becoming the world’s refugees’ capital. A group of asylum seekers play volleyball at the center. Inside a Computer lab where refugees and asylum seekers can use internet and learn computer skills at the center. Gashora Transit center is located in Gashora sector, Bugesera district.The Center has hosted a total of 1,055 refugees and asylum seekers since September 2019. A prayer session at the center. One of asylum seekers during a driving session. The driving school has trained 160 asylum seekers at Gashora Transit Center. One of the refugees holds his plate during the lunch time. Currently only 457 remain in the facility as of today whereas 628 have been resettled to third party countries like Canada, France and Sweden among others.