ACORD Rwanda seeks to universalise social justice
Rwanda's newspaper The New Times gives strong emphasis to our work with Rwandan communities and highlights the life changing impact the Ihuriro methodology has helped to achieve. Read the article
In Rwanda, ACORD is actively working to create space for poor citizens to engage in research activities and dynamics that create social justice and reduce poverty while responding to the basic needs of the most vulnerable, excluded and marginalised local communities. The organisation engages communities in the construction of a just and equitable society where people co-exist in peace and dignity, and become responsible for their own development. The overall aim is to reinforce the capacity of local governments in strengthening the livelihoods of the rural population, in particular marginalised and vulnerable groups, and their capacity to advocate for their rights and achieve food security. Child-headed households as well as those living with HIV, victims of violence and those stuck in cycles of poverty are just some of the people that have been equipped with the tools neccessary to regain autonomy and shape their futures while having a direct, positive impact on their communities.
Testimonials from Julien, Ibrahim, Clarisse and Jean-Marie in Rwanda:
“Previously, I harvested, with local varieties, a banana bunch of 25-30 kg. With the new varieties, I harvest a banana bunch of about 90kg. I sell one bunch of banana at not less than Rwf7000” - Julien Liberakurora, a member of Ihuriro, given an improved variety of banana suckers by ACORD, he now owns a banana plantation.
“I will continue with this profitable job to build up my bright future”- Ibrahim Iraguha, 20. Supplied with hairdressing equipment by ACORD, he now owns a salon.
“Before the coming of ACORD into our lives, we lived in solitude. Today, we live a very comfortable life. And we hope in the future to also venture into piggery. Our future is no longer as bleak as we had been made to believe, thanks to ACORD. They are like that angel who saves the dully desperate”- Clarisse Ingabire, 19 and Gaudence Niyonsaba, 24. Two sisters, one a victim of rape whose rapist ACORD helped prosecute. ACORD also financed the construction of their house, trained them on their rights and HIV/AIDS related issues, bought them mattresses and a sewing machine to start them into self-support.
“I am now building my own house. I own a farm and I am able to pay the farm workers”- Jean Marie Hategekimana, 26. ACORD gave him a carpentry tool box worth Rwf94,000. His carpentry workshop permits him to earn an average monthly income of Rwf 30,000.
Child-headed family in Kamonyi district
Child-headed households rights and livelihoods
- The livelihoods of targeted CHH have improved and incomes increased. 70% of the households received an animal to produce manure for soil fertility.
- Registering land for CHH, together with legal assistance in court prompted children to feel protected and safe. In total 7,800 plots were mapped, 3000 CHH received their land titles and by the end of the project 80% of cases assisted through the courts were resolved in favour of the CHH.
- 3855 children benefitted from health insurance and received treatment and medication when needed.
- Provision of school materials and a contribution to the education basket fund has enabled the siblings of CHH to regularly attend school, improving their performance rates. Without the project 60% of the CHH were not able to pursue the schooling but today 2028 children were supported and have successfully passed the exams.
Food and income security in households
- Through the practice of land protection by organic farming and fertility, 3,000ha of land were protected against erosion, the process of land registration is completed for 6760 households and awareness sessions on the resilience to mitigation and adaptation to climate adaptability and change have started.
- The value chain approach was introduced to the Ihuriro and high yield seeds were provided. Today the increased productivity is a reality in the farms of potatoes, red onions, honey, banana, cassava, maize and pineapple.
Impact on women's access to land in post-conflict
- The support to women and girl heads of households targeted 11,700 households who managed to register their lands and to increase its productivity of food and income. The project has provided legal assistance to women in order to obtain legal recognition of their land ownership in all districts. Four lawyers were hired for this purpose. Hearing and recording every single case in need of legal assistance in land ownership was completed at district level and a compilation of all cases is now available.
- With ACORD's support, women and girl heads of households had access to technical knowhow in land protection, use and management, and the provisions of implements and improved seeds. High yielding varieties of cassava, maize and irish potatoes enabled farmers to increase their production. In Musanze, farmers who were given 19 tons of seed managed to harvest 192 tons (89.6 tons of seed and 102.5 tons for consumption or sale) and were able to buy their own land and make payments for health insurance for all the members.
Read the full list of figures and testimonials and learn more about the impact ACORD Rwanda has had on the lives of these individuals as well as the challenges encountered by the organisation by reading the full article