Survivors appeal for more support

Genocide widows and orphans living in Avega village , Kimironko, Gasabo District, have appealed for more support, especially in education and creation of income generating schemes.

Genocide widows and orphans living in Avega village , Kimironko, Gasabo District, have appealed for more support, especially in education and creation of income generating schemes.

The call was made on Saturday during a visit to the village by the US embassy staff during which they planted 360 fruit trees.

The widows said many orphans drop out of school after missing out on government sponsorship because they can not raise university tuition on their own.

“We need support so that we can engage in income generating activities such as dairy projects in this village to help better the lives of children, the physically impaired and the elderly,” Leonie Karire, a widow, said.

“We have children who did not make it to university under the government scholarship scheme and neither can we pay for them due to limited resources.

‘‘There is need for other sources of income to supplement FARG support.” Karire said.

She said widows make crafts and other items for sell but the returns can only meet basic needs.

Gertrude Gasanabandi, another widow, said setting up a joint small scale business would be a good undertaking.

Ibuka, the umbrella for Genocide survivors, last week called upon different partners to contribute toward government efforts to support vulnerable groups.

Olivier Ishimwe, an orphan, said he dropped out after secondary education because he did not qualify for government sponsorship and could not afford school fees.

He appealed to the Fund for Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG) to seek other ways of supporting such orphans.

Joseph Rurangwa, the representative of the US embassy staff, said local staff, set up a fund that supports the children of former colleagues who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

But he said the idea of expanding the funding could be explored to benefit more people.

Verdiana Mukamunana, the AVEGA representative in Kimoronko Sector, expressed hope that their challenges would be addressed with time.

“We are also working closely with government to train some students in technical and vocational skills, especially those who did not get a chance to go to university,” she said.

US embassy officials said about $2,000 was set aside for the tree planting exercise and renovation of houses for survivors.

The Avega village is made up of about 182 families.

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