CARE started working in Rwanda in 1984, running activities including improving the health of pregnant women, and providing clean water and sanitation.
Programmes in Rwanda have to deal with the aftermath of the civil war which claimed an estimated one million lives in 1994. CARE Rwanda currently focuses on the areas of education, HIV/AIDS prevention, and improving the status of marginalised groups.
During the war CARE Rwanda briefly had to close its offices. However, we continued to deliver cross-border relief to over a million people. Emergency operations included providing people with shelter, food, water, seeds and tools.
Fighting HIV and AIDS
One of the most daunting legacies of the war in Rwanda is the high rates of HIV infection.
Many women were raped and families were forced to flee their homes and settle in large camps, increasing the spread of HIV.
CARE is working to reduce the spread of the disease, raising awareness about how to prevent it, particularly among teenagers and young women, who are at high risk.
For CARE education is a human right. Forty eight percent of the population in Rwanda can neither read nor write; women and girls making up more than their fair share.
CARE aims to improve literacy and life skills of vulnerable children, especially girls.
The organisation works with local partners and the government to implement an informal life skills education program. This targets older, out-of-school youths who never completed basic education.
Working with marginalised groups
CARE is working to promote the status of marginalised groups in Rwanda, particularly women and people belonging to the minority Batwa ethnic group.
We are helping woman and members of the Batwa community to become aware of their rights and lobby for them to be realised, largely through literacy programmes focused on rights issues.