ADRA Rwanda: Impacting the lives of refugees in Rwanda

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is the global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Through an international network, ADRA delivers relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 130 countries-regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious association. By partnering with communities, organizations, and Governments, ADRA is able to improve the quality of life of millions of people through its programs.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is the global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Through an international network, ADRA delivers relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 130 countries—regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious association. By partnering with communities, organizations, and Governments, ADRA is able to improve the quality of life of millions of people through its programs.

ADRA Rwanda has been serving the local population since 1978, implementing programs to develop the country and improve the lives of citizens. The programs include education, health, economic empowerment, food security and disaster relief.

ADRA Rwanda is also involved in refugee response in Rwanda. In partnership with UNHCR and WFP, it intervenes in constructing shelter, providing education for children of school going age, managing warehouses for food and Non-Food Items (NFIs) in the camps and managing logistics.

Restoring hope to refugees in Rwanda

Education:

Since 2010, in partnership with UNHCR, ADRA Rwanda has been supporting education for refugees in all camps in close collaboration with the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Disaster and Refugees Affairs (MIDMAR). This has been done through the Inclusive Refugees Education Management Program (IREMP) which is based on five pillars: Accessibility, Inclusive education, Quality education, Retention and Integration. Thanks to this program, all refugee children of school going age have access to quality education from pre-primary, primary and lower secondary. Education support includes provision of scholastic materials, psychosocial support; special needs service for students, and teaching materials for teachers.

 In collaboration with the school management, IREMP promotes sports and clubs to encourage creative imagination, innovation, and social integration of refugee children in schools with an aim of talent development. Social interaction is important as it is an opportunity to sensitize students on reproductive health, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and HIV/AIDS. In addition, IREMP pays school fees for refugee students who attend schools outside the camps.

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MIDIMAR minister, Hon. Seraphine Mukantabana during the inauguration of classrooms

 In 2016 ADRA Rwanda partnered with Impact Hope, USA based organization with an aim to provide quality education for all. Currently 234 refugee children are supported to continue with their upper secondary education in different national secondary schools; thus enhancing the integration program. Under this program, ADRA Rwanda provides scholastic materials, school fees, health insurance and upkeep for the enrolled students. 

Over the past four years, Nyamagabe, Gisagara, Kirehe, Karongi Gicumbi and Gastibo Districts have benefitted from a total of 270 classrooms and 416 dischargeable latrines funded by UNHCR and implemented by ADRA Rwanda. This has improved the learning environment both in camps and outside for national schools where refugees are integrated. 

TOM shoes:

ADRA Rwanda partnered with TOM Shoes, a USA based company, in 2013 to fill in the gap where many children would shy away from school and drop out because of the shame of walking bare foot. Many may take having a pair of shoes for granted but for the refugee students it is a luxury that they cannot easily afford as most parents try to juggle between the competing demands for basic needs for their families.

ADRA Rwanda has so far distributed over 495,000 pairs of shoes to refugee children and those in the national schools outside the camp where refugee children are integrated.

Transforming the lives of youth through DAFI scholarship program

In the academic year 2015- 2016 ADRA Rwanda, with funding from UNHCR, offered higher education scholarships to 82 students; 41 female and 41 male students. This education support enables refugee children to access University education and cover the payment for their tuition, internship and dissertation costs plus monthly allowances to cater for rent and food. 

This program has empowered the refugee youth through training on entrepreneurship to support them to be economically independent. Through this the youth have engaged in various income generating activities to reduce poverty in the camps.

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The ADRA Rwanda warehouse

ADRA Rwanda has organized DAFI alumni group into Rwanda DAFI Club that keeps linkage with the refugee community to provide self-reliance support to the camp communities.  The Club members make a monthly contribution and the money collected is used to pay fees for the best performing refugee students who wish to pursue vocational training.

School feeding and WFP-Warehouse in Camps

The need to retain and increase performance and attendance of refugee children in school led ADRA Rwanda to partner with World Food Program (WFP) in 2013 on a school feeding program. The program currently serves 12 primary schools in all refugee camps and outside the camp in national schools where refugee children are integrated. Currently, the total number of beneficiaries stands at 48,642 students compared to 24,804 in 2013.

ADRA Rwanda has also partnered with WFP to implement warehouse management that covers food handling and storage in all refugee camps. As a result, ADRA Rwanda is involved in most humanitarian life saving activities such as food aid and distribution. This has been achieved through partnerships with other actors especially the Government of Rwanda through the MIDMAR.

Supply Chain and Logistics management

In humanitarian relief activities, more than 85% is composed of logistics and this becomes the center of higher expenditure for any emergency responding organization. In 2011, UNHCR partnered with ADRA Rwanda to implement the total management of logistics and supply chain activities that include fleet management, fuel control, warehouse management, relocations and transportation of refugees, Critical Relief Items (CRIs) and Rwandan returnees from entry points to their final destinations.

The partnership covers the logistics operations for UNHCR and its implementing partners in all refugee camps, refugee reception centers and transit centers in close collaboration with MIDMAR.

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The classroom blocks constructed by ADRA Rwanda

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