Project #199 | Community Development through Church Unity in Rwanda
Our Partnership with World Relief
The Rwandan Genocide of 1994 pitted the Hutu and Tutsi tribes against one another and resulted in the deaths of more than one million people in just three short months. And rather than being places of refuge and sanctuary during the violence, many churches were the sites of massacres. Some church leaders even participated in the genocide as a way of eliminating challenges to their authority. This legacy of the church’s involvement with the genocide has left lasting scars.
One Day’s Wages partnered World Relief to heal the lingering effects of the Rwandan Genocide by building unity among churches from varying denominations and teaching them to see one another as collaborators rather than competitors. They then used this mutual support by working together to respond to community challenges through service projects such as rebuilding homes for widows, starting savings groups, paying school fees for orphans, creating child care centers, and COVID-19 prevention messaging.
Our Collective Impact
People Served Through Outreach Groups
Households Visited by Organizational Groups
Savings Groups Members
Meet the Rusayo Pentecostal Church
Rusayo Pentecostal Church is one of many churches in World Relief’s Musanze Church Empowerment Zone (CEZ) in Rwanda. Thanks to training from World Relief, faith leaders and community members learned how to create a protective environment for children, especially the most vulnerable. Mothers and fathers improved their parenting skills – reducing physical abuse and keeping children in school rather than tending to domestic chores so they have access to a better future.
After the training, one church leader, Pastor Calliope, and his team began to notice that there were many single mothers in their community whose children would benefit from church support. Pastor Calliope then created a ministry called “Umwana ni nk’undi,” meaning “A kid is like another.” This ministry supports and advocates for abused children and empowers mothers by bringing them together, offering parenting trainings, and encouraging them to join savings groups so they can start small businesses.
Twenty-six mothers were invited to join “Umwana ni nk’undi”, and all 26 agreed to form a savings group together. The mothers also support each other in planting vegetable gardens to improve their children’s nutrition. These women are very grateful for these opportunities, and they have hope that their children’s futures will be bright.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.