The AMURT-sponsored school is located in a picturesque setting in Wasswa village in the rolling hills of Mukona District, about 60 miles from Kampala. The school draws from a population of 30,000 people living in seven villages within a ten mile radius.
The school was first started in 1988 on twenty acres of land donated to AMURT. It was a simple project in the beginning, with twenty village children being taught under a tree! The first building was constructed in 1991, and now the school has 333 children from Nursery to Primary 7. Twenty-one children are boarders and eight children are orphans in our care.
The school is popular as it achieves a high academic standard. In 2003 the school stood second in academic performance out of thirty-eight primary schools in Nagajji County. This was a surprisingly good result for a rural school. The reason for the school´s success is discipline (the teachers come to work every day!) and the extra classes that are taught in the afternoon.
The school follows the government syllabus, teaching Luganda, English, Math, Science, Geography and Agriculture. In addition we offer classes in Story-telling, Art and Physical Exercise.
We are caring for eight orphans, who were screened for eligibility by the local council before we received them. Five live with us, and three are accommodated in the nearby village.
The project is located in the Orange Farm, a township 45 kilometers south of Johannesburg. It has a population of 700,000.
Poverty is rampant in the area, with over 60% unemployment, and very few opportunities for people to better their current situation. Most HIV carriers, therefore, are unable to afford proper treatment for their condition.
HIV/AIDS has an extremely high prevalence in Orange Farm with 57% of the population being infected with the virus according to the Health Department.
There is resistance in the male population to using a condom. Rumors abound in the community that condoms have worms in them, and will give the man an STD if worn.
AMURT opened a clinic at its community center in Orange Farm in 1996 to provide primary health care to the population. In 2001, with initial funding from the Provincial Health Department, AMURT launched the HIV/AIDS program that includes awareness-building and home-based care. We currently employ 19 caregivers who administer to the needs of 186 home-based AIDS patients. They feed them, bathe them, administer their medication and interact with their families. They educate their patients about the nature of the disease and become a compassionate presence in their lives.
In the awareness building component of the program the outreach workers educate the population about the nature of the disease. They advise people to get tested and to change their behavior patterns. First, they tell people, “Be faithful!” Then they say, “If you cannot be faithful, then use a condom at all times.”
Trying to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS is a long struggle, which AMURT is prepared to participate in for the foreseeable future.
AMURT completed its 13 years of service in the country and conducted a brief survey to measure the impact of its projects. AMURT expatriates and volunteers made several visits to the completed projects and organized several community meetings to ascertain the problems and identify local solutions.
AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) is an International Voluntary Organization founded in India in 1970 with a motto of helping underprivileged members of the society through extending emergency humanitarian relief and long term development co-operation. It is a United Nation’s recognized NGO with experience in running schools, orphanages, health care, income generation and capacity building programs all utilizing local resources.
AMURT Rwanda has completed a number of Projects from 1994-2007 in different sectors including rehabilitation and new construction of Schools, rehabilitation of health facilities, supply of water tanks etc. It has organized several training programs in self sufficiency for women and the disabled, and supported a Micro-credit project for development of economic growth and poverty eradication in the local community.
I. Street Children Rehabilitation and Orphans
The on going student support program of rehabilitation of street children from street to school continues with the provision of education materials and school fees. Since 1995 more than 700 students have benefited from this sponsorship Program.
II. Income Generation:
AMURT bought tilapia fingerlings from the government hatchery in Butare, which were transported and planted in the pond site at Kigali. The ponds had been rehabilitated by the group in preparation for the planting according to Ministry’s instructions.
Group: AFAK – Twisungane Kacyiru Commune, Kimihurura Sector in Kimicanga Cellules were involved in training and a small start up capital was supported for their benefit.
III. Four bicycles were purchased for the use of street children.
IV. A small restaurant was funded in the Nyamirambo area to render cheap food to the local community.
V. Micro-credit Program
AMURT Rwanda started the micro-credit project in 2000 with 22 women of ABUNGANYE Association benefiting from this program. ABUNGANYE Association is located in Secteur Biryogo (Nyamirambo) in Nyarugenge Commune. Three more associations in Kigali are ready to benefit from this micro-credit program.
EXPERIENCE AND LESSONS LEARNED
Student enrollment increased by 40% as reflected in the report with over 20% being girl students.
The local communities are aware of the future of their children and are looking for proper education. The communities are supportive and industrious to maintain the existing facilities and have greater willingness for expansion according to their own capacity.
Achievement of overall objectives:
AMURT is satisfied with the project progress. It continues to assess and identify needs and make long-term strategies for the restoration of a sound educational and health system in Rwanda through collaboration with government, NGO’s and International agencies.
AMURT looks forward to getting support from the Government to continue playing a major role as a partner in the restoration of Rwandan society.
You can help !
The projects in Rwanda are the result of hard work by the communities and strong determination by the local dedicated AMURT staff. However, we remain reliant on contributions from individuals and funding agencies to complete and expand the projects.
To contribute you can:
1. Donate online here:
2. Send a donation to Rwanada:
Po-Box 2866, Kigali
Burundi is a country in the center of Africa and is a member of the Great Lakes Region. It’s said to be a developing country.
Its Surface area is 27,834 square kilometers that Lake Tanganyika covers alone.
Its population is estimated to be about 6 million constituted by three ethnic groups:
HUTU tribe 85%
TUTSI tribe 14%
TWA tribe 1%
Burundi borders with Rwanda in the North, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, Lake Tanganyika in the South – west and The United Republic of Tanzania in the East.
Burundi is a country of thousands of hills, valleys and fertile land with a very conducive climate for both agriculture and tourism throughout the year.
a) Agriculture: More than 90 percent of the Burundian population are farmers.The main cash crops are coffee, tea, sugar, palm oil, fish and cotton.
b) Mines and quarry: The Burundi substratum contains a great deal of mineral resources Such as nickel, gold, limestone, copper, calcareous, peat, oil, cobalt and platinum that is not yet exploited.
The history of Burundi has always been marked with ethnic war since its independence in 1962.
The most recent events are those of 1993 immediately after the assassination of the late democratically elected President Melchior Ndadaye and his entourage by the Burundian army.
The consequences of his death was the loss of many human lives, some of whom were Burundi’s prominent people. Refugees were scattered to all neighboring countries and elsewhere worldwide. Still there are a lot of widows and orphans who are in need of humanitarian assistance.
These abandoned children are also in need of education and homes to enable them to become useful citizens in the society. It is important to note that Burundi is having a large number of orphans, widows and HIV/AIDS victims.
Bujumbura is the capital city of Burundi with a total population of 6 million.
The country’s administrative system consists of 15 provinces and 120 communes. The head of a province is called a Governor. The Commune head is called an Administrator.
ABOUT THE GATERI REFUGEE CENTER:
Near the River Rusizi, the Gateri Refugee Center is the center for returning refugees from Tanzania, Rwanda, DRC Congo and Uganda who had been displaced during the war. The government has given scope for them to rebuild their settlement and has facilitated land for them to build their houses. The UNHCR has developed a food for work program. People are building their own homes and they are supplied foodstuffs by the UNHCR.
The center is planned for 1000 families (7000 people) for now. Once the people will know about the Gateri center there is a possibility to increase to 1000 more families by 2007.
Gateri Refugee Center is located in the hilly area of Chibotuke province, 2 km distance from the town of Gaseny. It comes under Buganda Commune. The population of Buganda commune is 45,000.There are two rainy seasons: from March to May and from September to November.
The local crops are cassava, tomato, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, cucumber, carrot, onion, beans and green leaves are commonly utilized for the people’s daily use. Tropical fruits like mango, banana, papaya etc. are also cultivated.
Food is available until the construction of houses is going on but there is no further plan for food security following the construction work. Thus far, the government has only allocated a single plot of 20 x 30 meters for returnees to build their houses but no additional land for cultivating their own crops.
Problem of drinking water
Problem of food
No school nearby
No good road connecting to center
No health care facility
No toilet and hygiene facility
Benefit can be assured if land is provided by the Government
1000 families can be settled
2000 people can be employed
Over 7000 people will be benefited and 45,000 thousand people of that commune can be benefited
Over 10000 of Mt tons of food stuff can be supplied throughout the country per year
It will increase the per capita income of the country
It will have impact on increasing GDP of the country
It will decrease unemployment
It will reduce poverty
The project will be able to supply the drinking water
It will decrease malnourishment and will improve the health condition in the area
It will improve the technical knowledge in agricultural production, farming, dairy, and agriculture related cottage industries like, chips, pickle, juice and edible oil extraction, etc.
Local market could be strengthened
Purchasing capacity will be increased
Build up peace and tranquility amongst the people in the country
Cause of the Gateri settlement
During 1991 –1993 civil war in , Burundi citizens took shelter in nearby countries like Tanzania, DRC Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. The Gateri Center serves as a transition point for refugees to return to, until the government allocates them new land with which to resume their normal lives.
About Rusizi River:
The Rusizi River divides Buruni and DR Congo in the North East. The river water level remains at 5 meters in the dry season and increases up to 8 meters in the rainy seasons. The river water will be good for irrigation. It can be used for agriculture. Once it is treated it can be used for drinking.
PROJECT PLANNING FOR GATERI CENTER FOR REFUGEE SETTLEMENT:
The government has allocated 1,000 hectares of land for cultivation. AMURT will develop the infrastructure for a water supply system. Water will be pumped from the Rusiziriver to a big water storage tank on high land area from where it will be channeled to different areas for irrigation. We plan for tractors, bulldozers, generators, weaving machines and other useful machines for agriculture purposes. We also plan to install a water treatment plant for drinking water and a power supply system through generators, solar and electricity. Buildings for offices, bakery, dairy farming and a local market construction are also under the proposed plans.
Brick making for the contruction of their houses