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Rwanda

Trócaire’s work in Rwanda helps people to deal with the consequences of the 1994 Genocide and to develop sustainable livelihoods and accountable governance.

Frida Kamuzima and Jean Baptiste Gatera

Frida Kamuzima lost her husband in the 1994 genocide and was forced into hiding. Her neighbour Jean Baptiste Gatera was amongst those persecuting her family. The two were brought together and have become friends through the reconciliation work of Trócaire’s partner organisation, the Commission for Justice and Peace. Photo: Elena Hermosa, 2014

Country overview

  • Trócaire here since: 1994
  • Type of programmes: Food and Resource Rights, Justice and Human Rights, Humanitarian Response
  • Reach: 694,980 people in Rwanda have benefitted from Trócaire programmes in the last year.

Rwanda is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in Africa with an estimated 11.5 million inhabitants.

It is classified among the world’s poorest countries, ranked 163 out of 188 countries according to 2015 Human Development Index report, with 63% of the population below income poverty line of $1.25 USD a day and 34.6% in severe poverty.

The genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994 resulted in over one million deaths, with a large number of people still suffering trauma. Over the last 22 years, the country has made tremendous progress in terms of rebuilding its economy, peace and reconciliation. However, the country still faces significant challenges. 

Agriculture is the main source of income and livelihoods, with 87% of people relying on rain-fed farming to feed themselves. Such farming is becoming more difficult as rains have become erratic due to climate change.

Also, much of the country’s agricultural land lies on hill slopes, increasing the risk of soil erosion and damage. Another challenge is high population growth (2.75% per year) and lack of non-agricultural farm livelihood alternatives which increase pressure on land (average land size is 0.5 hectare per family of 5 members), and natural resources such as water. 

Trócaire in Rwanda

Trócaire started working in Rwanda after the genocide in 1994. Following on from this humanitarian work, we continued to help the country’s poorest people to improve their livelihoods. Since 2002, our work in Rwanda has focused on reducing poverty and promoting peace and reconciliation, and accountable governance.

We provide support to 24 partners working in 11 districts across the Southern, Northern and Eastern Provinces. 

WATCH: Let the Devil Sleep: Rwanda 20 Years After Genocide

WATCH: Trócaire worker Mary Sweeney shares memories of her field work in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

Mary Sweeney on Rwanda

Our programmes in Rwanda

Our programme work in Rwanda focuses on two key areas:

1. Food and Resource Rights

Our livelihoods programme aims to create more stable and lasting livelihoods for Rwandans.

We do this by helping to maximise farming harvests and improving agriculture returns through the creation of small and medium food processing industries, as well as promoting other income generating options.

We have supported the development of microfinance sector services to help people living with poverty to access financial services. 

Since 2014, we are also supporting communities to enhance their capacity to adjust to and mitigate climate change challenges through water resource management.  

2. Justice and Human Rights

This programme aims to enable citizens, especially women and young people, to have a say in the decisions that impact on them.

We support training around conflict resolution, as well as initiating face-to-face meetings with local leaders to voice community concerns. Ultimately the programme hopes to create fair, long term development by making those in power more accountable. 

3. Humanitarian Response

Since June 2015, Trócaire Rwanda, in collaboration with Caritas Rwanda, has provide emergency support to Burundian refugees in Rwanda, especially vulnerable groups, namely new and single mothers, and people with disabilities or incurable diseases.

Over 50,000 refugees live in Mahama Camp, and about 3,450 most vulnerable among them benefit from food supplement provisions, and psychosocial and protection support. 

Rwanda Research

Agricultural trade in RwandaAnalysis of national and regional agricultural trade in maize, soybeans and wheat: A focus on Rwanda

The focus of this study is the trade in maize, soybeans and wheat and their derived products within Rwanda and between Rwanda and the East African Community.

View all Rwanda Research Reports  

Rwanda Resources

Newsletter

Policy, programme and education resources

Our funders in Rwanda

The following organisations are generously funding Trócaire's current programmes in Rwanda: 

Our partners in Rwanda

  • Association of Micro-finance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR)
  • Association Rwandaise de Conseillers en Traumatisme -  Ruhuka
  • Association Rwandaise pour la Promotion du Développement Intégré
  • Benishyaka
  • Capacitar Rwanda
  • Caritas Rwanda
  • Centre Igiti cy'Ubugingo
  • Commission Diocesaine Justice et Paix Gikongoro
  • Commission Diocesaine Justice et Paix Ruhengeri
  • Commission Episcopate Justice et Paix 
  • Concertation des Organisations d’Appui aux Initiatives de Base (CCOAIB)
  • Conseil Consultatif des Femmes (COCOF)
  • COOPEC Umutanguha
  • Diocese Catholique de Gikongoro / Caritas
  • DUHAMIC ADRI
  • Duterimbere Microfinance SA
  • Federation IMBARAGA
  • Gikongoro Justice et Peace Commission
  • Initiative pour la Promotion de la Famille et du Genre (IPFG)
  • Medical Missionaries of Mary-Kirambi (MMM)
  • Réseau Interdiocésain de Microfinance SA (RIM)
  • Ruhengeri Justice & Peace Commission
  • Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP)
  • Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO)
  • Rwanda Environment and Development Organisation (REDO)
  • Union des Coopératives Agricoles Intégrées (UNICOOPAGI)

Updates from Rwanda