47,000 vulnerable children to benefit from US fund

Several schools, across the country, will receive materials worth more than Rwf540 million to be distributed by local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The materials, donated by CHF International under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) “Higa Ubeho” programme, will go towards supporting orphans and other vulnerable children.

Several schools, across the country, will receive materials worth more than Rwf540 million to be distributed by local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The materials, donated by CHF International under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) “Higa Ubeho” programme, will go towards supporting orphans and other vulnerable children.

According to CHF International, the materials that are mainly health kits, whose distribution started in December through January, will benefit over 46,986 vulnerable children in primary and secondary schools.

“Students will receive school and hygiene kits to assist them to go to school, stay in school, and perform well.

“The kits are valued at over US$900,000 and include the key requirements recognised by the Government of Rwanda as key to success in school,” CHF International announced in a statement.

“Working through Rwandan partner organisations in the USAID/Higa Ubeho programme, nine faith-based and civil society organisations are coordinating the initiative as part of a holistic package of services to build resilience among vulnerable families,” the organisation said. 

According to Pierre Munyura, the CHF Deputy Country Director, for the past two years, the USAID/Higa Ubeho programme, has provided education support to orphans and vulnerable children.

Also under the programme, families are equipped with bio-intensive agricultural techniques to increase food production at the household level, promotion of household level savings and expanded economic activities to enable families to meet their own needs.

According to Claudine Mutamuliza, CHF’s Senior Programme Officer, unlike the previous years where the programme provided 100 percent of scholastic materials package, USAID/Higa Ubeho has begun to reduce the level of subsidy, providing 75 percent of the usual package.

The international NGO is calling on families to use their savings to provide the full package to their children. 

“Our economic strengthening activities have mobilised families to increase their savings and to expand into new income generating activities – results which are enabling them to ‘go beyond aid,” Mutamuliza said, adding that the effort is paying off.

The initiative is aimed at helping families in the USAID/Higa Ubeho programme meet the needs of their children, without fully relying on subsidies or handouts.

USAID/Higa Ubeho is a five-year USAID/PEPFAR-funded programme that aims to support 72,000 of Rwanda’s most vulnerable households – orphans, vulnerable children (OVC) and people living with HIV/Aids – to develop sustainable strategies for responding to common health and economic shocks.

edmund.kagire@newtimes.co.rw

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