Avega -Agahozo, an association of Genocide widows, has won the Guardian International Development Achievement Award, bestowed annually by the UK-based Guardian newspaper.
The award, which was received in London by Avega officials over the weekend, goes to women who have had outstanding impact in their communities.
The association was particularly recognized for setting up various development projects in the Eastern Province.
According to Avega officials, several international women associations were candidates for the award.
On arrival in Kigali, yesterday, the president of Avega, Chantal Kabasinga, said the award was in recognition to the association’s role in helping widows recover from the effects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, including trauma.
“The association has helped transform the lives of many women since its establishment 15 years ago,” she noted.
“What used to be grief among the widows was transformed into hope and courage”.
Avega was formed to address the needs of victims of the Genocide, especially widows, orphans, child-headed families, women who lost some or all their children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
The association was founded in 1995 by a group of 50 women in Kigali– widowed by the Genocide – and has since grown phenomenally. It now has close to 25,000 members.