When HORMIS NDAGIJIMANA from Rwanda first heard about Arukah Network, he wanted to learn more. After travelling to join a recent Cluster gathering in Kenya, he returned home to work on starting a new Rwanda Cluster. He’s been updating us on his progress…
What have you been doing to help start the Cluster? I’ve met with people from different organisations, and told them about Arukah Network and the Cluster model. I’ve been sharing some of the highlights from my visit to Kericho in Kenya, like the idea that we can have a great impact without lots of funding, and that listening to the community through SALT will help this happen.
Who is getting involved? 12 people from 6 organisations so far. We each work on quite different challenges in the country: teenage mothers, orphans, agriculture, homeless children, the environment. And then my own organisation – One Light Rwanda – works nationally to train health workers, to give vocational training, to fund school fees and to build homes.
What will the Cluster focus on? We’ve met together twice so far to think about our vision for Rwanda, and we want to focus on vulnerable people. We want to support their health, provide training on co-operatives, and give small grants to start small businesses. Each organisation brings its own experience - we will share with one another to have a positive impact.
What has been difficult so far? It’s often difficult for people to understand new things that are different to the old ways of working. People know UNICEF, but they don’t yet know Arukah. I tell them that we can have a great impact with little resources. It’s hard for people to understand this, but the stories we read from other countries on the Arukah Network website can help us – they show how in a community people can help each other to find solutions to any challenge.
What do you want people in our network to know about Rwanda? It’s a small, but beautiful country. We experienced genocide and face the consequences of that. But we have achieved lots of great things too. We have banned plastics. There is good gender balance in the parliament. Rwanda is heading in a good direction. We still have challenges, but our Cluster will help address them.
Thanks for joining us, Hormis. it's great that you've met members of some of our Clusters, and we're glad that Robins from Kenya will help facilitate your next steps.
Find out more about starting a Cluster here.