Red Cross marks 50 years in Rwanda

The Rwanda Red Cross (RRC) Friday marked its golden anniversary with a promise of more relief services.

The Rwanda Red Cross (RRC) Friday marked its golden anniversary with a promise of more relief services.

The RRC, legally recognised in 1964, has ever since been involved in various humanitarian, relief, and disaster management programmes.

“Our target in the near future is to deliver professional disaster management services, and increase our participation in development activities,”  said Apollinaire Karamaga, the secretary general of the organisation.

 According to Karamaga, the organisation which boasts   over 100,000 active staff and volunteers, has in the last 10 years, built over 2,000 houses for orphans, widows, the financially challenged, and returnees from DR Congo, Tanzania, among other countries.

It  has built eight primary schools, helped over 10,000 people get health insurance, donated over 3,000 livestock to disadvantaged families, and planted of two million trees, according to Karamaga.

“For every housing unit  we put up, we also ensure access to a water source,” Dr Bernard Nzigiye, president RCC, said.

He said in the last 10 years, over 15,000 children have benefited from their Orphan Support Programme and many have since completed secondary education.

RRC has also pioneered  activities such as “agasozi ndatwa” literally meaning  “hill of excellence” which have helped improve the wellbeing of communities.

“With the agasozi ndatwa approach, we pick a village and work with families there to address various challenges like housing units, toilets, and clean water,” Karamaga said.

Sensitisation related to malaria, HIV/Aids and family planning is also carried out at the grassroots.

Nzigiye said an ambulance programme to reach out to road accident victims will start operations next year.

Karamaga, however, called on government, and the donor community to increase RRC funding, so they can expand their scope of operations.

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