Rwanda

Giving children the best start

Rwanda has made remarkable progress since the 1994 genocide, which left the country with the highest proportion of orphans in the world. We're working to give Rwanda's children a bright future.

Rwanda has made remarkable progress since the 1994 genocide, which left the country with the highest proportion of orphans in the world. As well as promoting good governance and delivering essential services to the poor, Rwanda has also signified a strong commitment to children’s rights. But despite all this, it remains one of Africa’s poorest countries.

Save the Children has been working in Rwanda since 1994. In the immediate aftermath of the genocide, we helped trace parents or relatives of thousands of children who had become separated from their families. Since then, we have been working in partnership with the government and local stakeholders to promote a bright future for Rwanda’s children.

Our primary focus is on health, nutrition, education, child protection and children’s rights. We’re supporting the Rwanda Ministry of Health in the fight against chronic malnutrition. We’re implementing an innovative programme to support improved literacy for children aged 0-9. We’re reaching over 500,000 people through community-based child protection networks to ensure children are safe from abuse, exploitation and child labour. And we’re partnering with the Child Rights Civil Society Coalition in Rwanda to better coordinate efforts to promote the rights of children.

RWANDA: A READING REVOLUTION

In 2018, our Advancing the Right to Read programme supported over 270,000 children with their reading and gave over 7,500 parents and caregivers training in how to boost their child’s education.

Four-year old Epaphrodite’s reading is improving significantly, thanks to his mum Alphonsine. “I had never thought of reading to my child before, not even once,” she says. But she is now playing a bigger role in her son’s development after attending our First Read parenting sessions, part of our Advancing the Right to Read programme to ensure every child in Rwanda leaves school able to read. Now she’s seeing the results. “He has many words to express himself,” she says. “He is smarter than the average child his age.”

Epaphrodite, six, practices reading at his home in Ngororero district, Rwanda

Epaphrodite, age four, reads in Rwanda. His parents attended our First Read sessions, where they learned how they can support their son’s education.

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