Survivors welfare

#Rwanda Genocide Survivors getting poorer as FARG changes strategy

The New Times Rwanda wrote today:

Thousands of the survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are vulnerable, many of them elderly without relatives to look after them.

Inzu y'uwacitse ku icumu

one of houses built by FARG (Goverment support fund for genocide survivors) to a survivor in Bugesera

Although the fund for support of Genocide survivors (FARG) has been doing a lot to see that vulnerable Genocide survivors, widows and orphans, among others, are accorded worthwhile assistance, the help has not been sustainable in the true sense of the word.

The monthly stipend support given to a disadvantaged survivor is Rwf7,500 and is based on Vision Umurenge Programme in the framework of social protection.

Individuals, too, support these survivors from time to time, and, like with most alms, such support is never really timely. Where one needs urgent assistance, it becomes that kind of pain that leaves them reeling off a staccato of wishes.

High on the list of such wishes is always a sustainable form of support. They yearn for some form of profitable project from which they can mint regular income. But FARG is moving to grant survivors that wish by setting up long-term projects for them as one of the best ways to respond to the challenges they face.

Realising that much of its budget is accrued to meeting education needs of children of Genocide victims, and that the changing time makes it increasingly difficult to continue meeting welfare support of survivors, FARG has started establishing income-generating projects that will fetch money for supporting survivors.

FARG says among the projects include a Rwf40 million multipurpose hall being constructed in Nyamirambo Sector, Nyarugenge District, to generate income to support survivors.

FARG also has a modern brick and tile furnace which is complete in Gitambi Sector, Rusizi District and intends to put up another furnace in Mageragere Sector, Nyarugenge District, worth Rwf60 million.

These are projects that seek to empower needy survivors, make them self-reliant such that the support FARG gives them is channeled into other purposes. This is the hallmark of a progressive vision, one that must be given the attention it deserves.

Analysis- Albert Gasake

This move cannot help in any thing, by the way it is not a new move. The income generation programme for survivors has been one of 5 components of FARG since its creation in 1998 but it did not result in anything tangible to date. The issue has never been funding as FARG seems to claim. The issue has been and remains transparency, deep structural incompetence and effectiveness in the very management of FARG as an institution for the support of survivors.

Since its establishment, the Government has injected into FARG over 200 billion Rfrw at least in paper but where is the impact? objectively speaking, very little impact if any at least as long as income generation and self-reliance of survivors  is concerned. 21 years  since the genocide survivors are getting poorer.  Many survivors are still without a roof over their heads, Others especially the elderly are dying day by day due to genocide consequences, HIV/ AIDS positive women  raped during the genocide are dying due to lack of treatment and proper diet, many young survivors who  dropped out secondary schools in order to cater for their young siblings are unable to resume their studies…. Programmes such as the income generation projects  are technically great if they are well designed and monitored.  But in light of FARG’s weaknesses such programmes should be implemented by a separate institution such as micro-finances that have necessary expertise in project management, monitoring and evaluation for low income communities.

It appears to me that FARG is only addressing the symptoms rather than real root causes of pervasive poverty among survivors population.  There is a need to address the needs of genocide survivors in more holistic way as opposed to isolated solutions like this one mentioned in the article below. end

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