The YEGO Rwanda Foundation has several projects that we are currently trying to implement. As an organization that provides psychosocial care and educational support, we seek to address these issues in everything that we do. Each project is designed to achieve at least two of our primary goals:
- psychological healing from traumatic experiences
- assisting survivors of the 1994 Genocide, members of child-headed households, and victims of armed conflicts, HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse, or other vulnerable youths
- promoting reconciliation and the development of a culture of peace and tolerance
We try to fund these projects through grants and awards from organizations and governments. If you are willing to help us seek funding or if you are interested in supporting one of them yourself, please see the prioritized list of projects below.
CASIE: Cathartic Arts and Socially Integrating Experiences
CASIE is designed to promote psychological healing from traumatic experiences through the use of song, dance and drama groups, as well as art circles to help beneficiaries connect with traditional Rwandan culture, break social isolation, explore cathartic artistic activities, and heal from trauma. By bringing people from different ethnicities together, we hope to encourage the process of forgiveness and reconciliation.
CBC: Caring By Counselling
Surprisingly, Rwanda has very few counsellors, and most who are currently practicing have only a bachelor’s degree, with little to no special training in handling PTSD or other issues. There is a stigma surrounding counselling in Rwanda. CBC is designed to address these issues. It partners with experienced professors from Canada and the US who come to Rwanda to provide specialized training in identifying and caring for people suffering from PTSD. It addresses both adults in strategic positions to help youths (such as pastors, principals, teachers, health and social workers, etc.) and mature genocide survivors, orphans, and other vulnerable youths. CBC gives people skills to handle their own issues, and equips them to identify and help others who are struggling. By increasing the number of lay counsellors in Rwanda, we hope to help more people heal from trauma and to reduce the stigma surrounding counselling and issues that come from PTSD.
PARE: Peace and Reconciliation Education
The PARE project addresses peace and reconciliation issues that occur in the home, at school, and in local communities. PARE empowers children to create healthier environments for their own growth and development and works to prevent the risk of future acts of hatred and violence that would threaten the stability of the nation. In this way, we strive for both immediate and long-term effects.
KNOWLEDGE DL: YEGO Rwanda Foundation’s Digital Library
The education system in Rwanda is challenging for many youths primarily because learning is entirely lecture-based. Students listen to lectures, take notes, and then take tests. This can create a big problem when the teacher does not speak good English, the required language for education. Textbooks are expensive, so are rarely used. Children have little access to different perspectives, academic materials, or even books for pleasure reading. Knowledge DL uses the Kobo and Kindle to allow children to access books. YEGO Rwanda staff will be able to provide basic tutoring help to students. Staff will also be given basic counselling skills so that they can listen to children’s problems and help them devise effective coping strategies.
U-SHARP: Up-scale HIV/AIDS Response Project
U-SHARP is a project that addresses HIV/AIDS issues in especially vulnerable populations such as female Genocide survivors, people with physical and mental disabilities, and orphans and vulnerable youths. This project involves partnering with 20 other local organizations that already work with these people, enabling them to better serve their beneficiaries. We hope that within two years of implementation, we will have affected 6,000 people and created a sustainable trend in the national HIV/AIDS response to vulnerable groups.