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My Country: Rwanda

HORMISDAS NDAGIJIMAMA and RICHARD BADACOKA are neighbours in the district of Musanze in Rwanda. Together they are helping launch and lead the new Rwanda Cluster. This is their introduction to the country...

Rwanda is small but beautiful. We are a country of about twelve million people. The roads are good, which means it's possible to travel round the whole country in one or two days – that's why as a Cluster we feel we can represent the whole country.

Rwanda has come a long way since the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. We like the way things are progressing. It helps that there are no language barriers here, as there are in many other African countries - we all speak one language. And our leaders have strived for economic development and education. We feel that Rwanda is increasingly respected both inside and outside of the country.

Rwanda is an environmental leader too. We have been plastic bag free since 2008. It is a criminal offence to bring plastic bags into the country. The streets are clean and this is good for our biodiversity too. And now we have seen other countries in Africa and the rest of the world follow our lead - this makes us proud.

The country faces different challenges. Some of these are social challenges, like teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence. Some are environmental, like erosion. And some are to do with access to education, as many rural families cannot afford the school fees.

Within our Cluster we have the skills and wisdom to respond to all of these challenges. We train and support health workers throughout the whole country. We work with both government and community. Some of us support women's rights and gender equality and advocate for better policies and laws. Some of us are involved in human rights campaigns. And some specialise in income-generating activities, environmental protection and education.

Come and visit us! When people come here, they always want to come back. The culture, the weather, the people, the nature (including the gorillas!) - people seem to fall in love with all of these things.

Click here to watch a short video from the Rwanda Cluster launch.


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