blog posts from GYC's participants, alumni, & staff
By Jessica Carling, GYC Rwanda 2014
HIV/AIDS has often been referred to as the plague of the twenty-first century. Since 2008, an estimated 31 to 35 million people have been infected with HIV/AIDS, with nearly 24 million living in Africa. Around 210,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in Rwanda, a figure that accounts for roughly 3 percent of the population.
The GYC delegation is here in Rwanda to learn about various NGOs and cooperatives, and have made it a priority to learn about those helping people affected by HIV/AIDS in this small African nation. Through this endeavor we have become acquainted with two organizations: Ineza and CHABHA.
Ineza (meaning “act of generosity” in Kinyarwanda) was started in 2006 by We-ACTx, an international NGO that specializes in comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment for survivors of the Rwandan genocide. The partnership between WE-ACTx and Ineza provides both medical care for its members and the learning tools necessary for their social and economic empowerment.
International GYC participants visited the Ineza cooperative on August 1. The cooperative is located in a lesser-visited part of Kigali on a hill only accessible by a dirt road. The workspace, consisting of a sewing room, several smaller rooms, and a showroom of beautiful products, also provides a common space for healing from the emotional trauma inflicted on the women by the 1994 genocide. The bond forged between the 25 women was very apparent as they interacted with us “foreigners” and showed off the beautiful and unique products they work on everyday.
CHABHA (Children Affected By HIV/AIDS) funds four grassroots projects throughout Rwanda and Burundi that care for orphans and children affected directly or indirectly by HIV/AIDS. Most organizations that CHABHA offers assistance to are headed by young adults who may have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and have a firsthand sense of what the children experience on a daily basis.
Patrick Nimubona, Project Coordinator of CHABHA, came to speak with the delegation during our human rights workshop to present the mission and objectives of the organization. CHABHA’s mission, as stated on its website, is to offer children affected by HIV/AIDS support for various educational pursuits, economic advancement, and psychological and physical wellbeing.
CHABHA works to achieve its goals by partnering with various organizations including AGAPE association, AJESOV association, Mubafashe association, and the AMAHORO association. Through the strong partnerships between CHABHA and its partners, children are given the chance to go to school, receive proper health care, and learn about HIV prevention.
If you would like to learn more about the work that Ineza and CHABHA are doing to prevent HIV/AIDS and the work they do to help those already affected, please visit their websites by using the links below.