Education, pastoral, social and vocational services in Kiziba camp, Kibuye province
Since 1996 Kiziba refugee camp, in Kibuye province in western Rwanda, has been home to 18,000, mainly Congolese, refugees. Living in the camp for such an extensive period of time, they struggle with limitations on their personal freedom and sense of dignity.
Unable to return home due to a lack of security in eastern DRC, without citizenship the refugees continue to feel like foreigners, even though they have lived most of their lives in Rwanda and some were even born here.
Funded by the Spanish NGO Entreculturas and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), JRS seeks to accompany, protect and prepare refugees for future economic and social integration in their communities by promoting the development of educational, occupational and social skills in the camp.
During 2010 academic year, JRS provided pre-, primary and secondary school services to nearly 5,500, approximately 45 percent of whom were girls. Activities included school refurbishment, classroom management, teacher training, and the distribution of school materials, textbooks and uniforms. In addition, JRS offered school managements courses to headmasters and scholarships to students.
Non-formal educational: JRS supports young people living in the camp to develop the necessary skills to find work in the community. In 2010, the Youth Support Centre in Kiziba offered cookery and home economics courses and workshops training to become electricians to 45 refugees.
Culture, recreation and sports: Catering for nearly 2,900 refugees, of whom one third were girls, JRS activities in 2010 involved basketball and volleyball training. Students took part in sporting competitions, including an inter-class championship for secondary schools. Film screenings, modern and traditional dance, theatre performances and various games in the community hall were also organised.
Accompaniment: More than 340 refugees in vulnerable circumstances received food, clothing, toiletries and wheelchairs. JRS teams made home visits in camp districts, organised social gatherings for groups such as the elderly or disabled persons and held meetings with local leaders to raise awareness and cater for the specific needs of vulnerable groups.
Pastoral assistance: This programme in Kiziba, managed by a team of 13, ensures religious services are available to the most vulnerable and prepares young people for the sacraments. Many choir groups are supported for persons of all ages in the camps.
Community technology: This programme offers computer facilities for more than 1,500 refugees and IT courses for secondary students from Amahoro College, as well as other refugee organisations. Upon completion of the course, students receive a certificate helping them secure employment in the future.
Great Lakes Africa
+257 78991302; +243 (0)821778696; +250 782000940
JRS Great Lakes Africa is one of 10 geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus. The regional office coordinates the delivery of education, housing, psychosocial and recreational services, as well emergency assistance and support to become self-sufficient, to vulnerable refugee and other displaced populations in Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2009, nearly 60,000 forcibly displaced persons were assisted by JRS in the region.
Rwanda: igniting the imagination of refugee children
Kibuye, 28 February 2012 – After a really successful experiment in bringing new technology into the classroom, JRS Rwanda is eager to integrate similar experiences into its education projects in the country.
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