Rwanda Police peacekeepers serving as Individual Police Officers (IPOs) under the African Union-United Nations hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID) donated solar home systems to light business centre for women in Abushouk internally displaced camp.
The centre helps women to make ends meet through various income generating activities like sewing, and acts as a training ground for varied skills in tailoring and art and craft.
At the event, last week, the Rwandan peacekeepers also donated air-fan machines to the women centre as well as clothes and mats to the kindergarten school in the same camp.
The donation is a financial contribution of each of the 54 Rwandan IPOs, who act as Police advisors and mentors in UNAMID.
The handover was presided over by the Police Commander of Sector North, Brig Gen Mohammed Abdullahel Baki; head of Reform and Restructuring, Lokesh Singh, the acting Rwanda police contingent commander, Bernard Mukama, Rwandan peacekeepers as well as community and women leaders in the camp, among others.
Gen Baki, while thanking the Rwandan peacekeepers for the humanitarian assistance, said: “The power problem at this center has been a request for a long time; we thank God for answering these women’s prayer through the Rwanda Police contingent.”
He highlighted the good relationship between the Abushouk community and the Police.
“Our aim is to help the IDPs, give them hope and develop their capacity. The operation of the center will open many doors for training and livelihood activities even after UNAMID leaves,” he said.
Nafisa Mohammed Ismael, the women leader in the camp, also thanked the Rwandan peacekeepers for “supporting and giving women hope to strive on.”
The electric sewing machines were operating manually due to lack of power coupled with a very hot environment, which was making it almost impossible for the women to operate their income-generating activities.
“These women will now be able to gain more skills through training, make and sell clothes, and get some small income for their living,” Ismael said.
Mukama said it is in the values of Rwandans to look at the bigger picture of human security, not only at home but also in peacekeeping missions.
The donation comes at a time when Rwanda National Police is marking its 17th anniversary, which starts on May 15, with month-long activities under the context of ‘Police Week,’ including giving home solar systems to 3000 households – 100 in each of the 30 districts – and 30 health centres.
It also follows a similar humanitarian assistance a fortnight ago by Rwandan IPOs serving in Central African Republic, who donated an assortment of dormitory items and foodstuff, including beddings and mosquito nets, and other personal effects to orphans of the 2013 crisis.