Save the Children in Rwanda and Burundi

Save the Children

Save the Children is a global leader in development and humanitarian programming worldwide, working as the preeminent voice for children with governments, civil society and private sector partners for over 100 years. Save the Children International  is a single global program delivery unit comprised of 28 national Save the Children organizations who have agreed to collectively implement projects in 120 countries.  With SCI’s extensive geographic reach and established operational platform, Save the Children implements both country-level and global projects serving some of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities while ensuring technical, operational, and financial oversight and management. Save the Children currently reaches 125 million children across the globe.

Save the Children in Rwanda

Save the Children has been working in Rwanda since 1994 in partnership with the Government of Rwanda (GoR) and local stakeholders to promote a bright future for children. We has experience working in all 30 districts across the country. The main areas of focus are education, child protection, child rights governance and health and nutrition in humanitarian and development contexts.

  • Education:

We set out to address the global crisis in learning by providing a continuum of services for children aged 0-9, focused on supporting emergent and early grade literacy to ensure all children leave school with grade level skills.

Early Childhood Development 

Basic Education

Education in Emergencies

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GoR closed schools, suspended reading clubs and enacted other measures to slow the spread of the virus. SC through its projects in Rwanda, worked with the government and other stakeholders to raise awareness and ensure learning and reading opportunities for girls and boys, with or without disabilities, continued at home in safe and inclusive environments. SC led awareness raising efforts to inform parents of the schedule for learning, highlighting the importance of supportive home learning environments and reiterating the role of parents in their children’s reading and learning at home. As part of the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) led Back to School Campaign Steering Committee, SC developed messaging and supported the GoR to safely reopen schools in 2020/2021.

 

  • Child Rights Governance:

Accountability for Children’s Rights in Rwanda Project aimed to strengthen child focused civil society organizations (CSOs) and children’s networks to actively hold duty bearers to account for implementation of children’s rights. Child focused CSOs were supported to effectively participate in government budgeting processes at local and national level and to engage in social accountability initiatives and use international child rights mechanisms. Under this project, child rights reporting work was undertaken and children themselves developed and submitted their own complementary reports. 

Improved Child Rights Governance in Rwanda has the overall objective of advancing the realization of child rights in Rwanda through improved budget transparency and effective state engagement of citizens including children and CSOs.

Accountable Governance that Protects and Delivers Children’s Rights aims to create a society where children enjoy their rights. This project strengthens the capacity of civil society and children to hold the Government of Rwanda to account for child rights, influence public financing to benefit children, enhance child protection systems to prevent and respond to violence against children and create change in policy, legislation and practice at both community and central levels. 

Influencing National State Accountability on the Rights of Children and Youth with Disabilities in Rwanda aims to promote state obligations and commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It built the capacity of children with disabilities on their rights and supported them to advocate for their rights.

Child Rights Governance in Emergencies

Our work in Mahama Camp for refugee and host communities has strengthened child rights systems and empowered girls and boys to speak out on issues affecting them. SC supported the creation of children’s committees and facilitated them to raise their voices both in the camp and national forums. We have also been supporting refugee children to raise their voice and advocate for their issues including through the Annual Children’s Summits. The Annual Children’s Summit brings together elected child representatives from all districts to meet high level national officials, decision makers and other stakeholders to discuss a selected topic and come up with recommendations to improve the situation of children countrywide.

 

  • Child Protection 

Save the Children has positioned itself as a leading child protection agency in Rwanda. In both humanitarian and development settings, the organization leads CP programming with the support of trained and qualified staff in various disciplines. SC has a program manager based in Kigali who oversees day-to-day implementation. In emergencies, SC’s CP response is led by a program coordinator based in Kirehe. The incumbent supervises all CP officers and case workers in Mahama Camp and urban settings and ensures routine delivery. In-country technical expertise is provided by the Senior Child Protection Specialist, Disability and Inclusion Technical Specialist, Gender Technical Specialistand Child Safeguarding Coordinator.

Integrated Health, Nutrition and Child Protection for Burundian Refugees in Rwanda

Improving Social Welfare and Protection Conditions of Burundian and Congolese Refugees and Host Communities in Mahama Camp and Urban Settlements through Integrated Child Protection and Health Interventions

Promoting Inclusive Child Protection Services among Burundian Refugee Children 

 

Save the Children in our Burundi Sub-Office 

In 2015, Save the Children began operating in Burundi. Through our sub-office, We delivers protection services and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response across five refugee camps in Muyinga, Ruyigi and Bujumbura. We also mobilizes resources and provides child protection services to disaster-affected children and their families displaced by recurrent flooding of Lake Tanganyika.

Protection and Mixed Solutions benefits refugees living in Bwagiriza, Kavumu, Nyankanda, Musasa and Kinama camps and urban sites in Bujumbura and enables them to enjoy their rights to live free from abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation. The project targets 80,818 refugees with protection and gender-based violence prevention and response. The project ensures the best interest processes are established and children receive timely, age-appropriate and gender sensitive interventions.

Congolese Refugee Response  supports the provision of child protection, SGBV and service referral to Congolese refugees in Burundi. SC facilitates capacity building trainings in CPiE and SGBV for key stakeholders. The project advocates for improved prevention and response to CPiE and SGBV and helped establish functional community-based CP structures and operationalize coordination and partnership mechanisms.

Lake Tanganyika Flood Response supports children and their communities impacted by flooding in partnership with local leaders. The response included revitalization of Child Protection Committees and creation of a pool of community-based volunteers that formed protection networks.