We are in a very tough period, the world as one is fighting one common enemy the Covid19 pandemic (the corona virus). As it has affected the whole world, our country and everyone else has also been affected in many ways too, but again as the rest of the world, as a national player in Rwanda, UYISENGA NI IMANZI has tried resuming activities, while respecting protective measures (washing hands, social distancing, staying at home, wearing facial masks,…).
In the beginning of its appearance, we established rules from UNM emergency response policy and shared them with staff, beneficiaries and partners. We worked according to the government’s instruction of washing hands and putting washing materials at the entrance of the building which we did in mediate effect .Then later we were advised by the Government to stay at home. As everyone else we had to put that in action and we shared announcements to the public and partners; this changed almost everything in all our working system.
We went further in reminding and educating online our beneficiaries on how to avoid and fight against the covid19. Education team remained active in their communities in Kigali, Rwamagana and Nyanza. We tried to let them understand how to handle themselves this time and period, by following all the instructions given by the Government. This was important as we deal with young people who sometimes tend to ignore dangers and rules, showing them how vital it is to fight this pandemic and how it is affecting the whole world at large.
According to the instructions on Covid 19 response, farmers were among active servants allowed to continue working. We thought that they needed more advanced instructions since they would be out there working and risking their lives, knowing how to avoid getting or spreading the virus was a lesson they really needed for themselves, their families and our country. Cooperatives have continued to operate and Farmers were in their respective land, technically supported by our agronomists and receiving incentives or chemicals when necessary. The sector of Farming is the one which has not suffered a lot by Covid 19 in the country is in Economic Empowerment within UYISENGA NI IMANZI.
We have children that we take care of and for whom it was so hard to get food and other essentials! The Government and other community structures have offered support and so we tried to come in, providing to the most vulnerable some essentials (food and sanitary materials). We provided to 54 vulnerable households some stuffs and food for one month. As we are waiting for the events to unfold, we are hoping they would be secured in terms of getting food without moving around and risking their lives. This support was coupled with advice and counselling services provided by our professionals, referral and advocacy when necessary.
Child protection services have continued, some linked with education services as mentioned in the previous paragraph but others in rehabilitation centres. 8 children remained in one center have followed different sessions waiting to be reunified with their families or kinship parents after the confinement. Other 108 children have been rescued from streets, made in quarantine, got preliminary services and will be reintegrated after the confinement following UNM Reintegration Model (tracing, rehabilitation, reintegration).
In relation to Education, we worked with parents, carers and children through regular calls on career guidance and mentorship, providing advice that prevent stress and encouragement to making a reasonable schedule (timetable) in reviewing all lessons and keep in mind that losing time is losing an opportunity in learning and development, since every challenge may open doors to new opportunities. During the confinement, parents learnt to be near of their children and knowing them better, exchanging more with them and giving advice. Our Psychologists and Social Workers kept offering Positive Parenting Sessions. Some children who used to stay in street remained in homes and renewed ties with their parents/ carers and siblings and our child protection team kept calling and advising. Even if family conflicts are very harmful, the organization came up with clear image of them and new strategies in addressing them.
With this hard time, UYISENGA NI IMANZI has strengthened Advocacy communication services: An emergency response which was in place has been reviewed in relation to Covid 19 and communicated to all staff members, beneficiaries and partners (Face to Face meeting and phone calls with those outside the Headquarter)
• A key contact was communicated for any emergency and administrative matter
• A group whatsApp is serving for all internal communications
• Articles were published on the organizational website
• The organizational social medias keep updating followers on the situation and activities during the lockdown (photos and case studies)
• Meetings and trainings are conducted regularly online (zoom & Cisco) with staff and partners
The Commemoration of the genocide against Tutsi (Kwibuka 26) took place online and UYISENGA NI IMANZI has offered its services more than usually, interventions and capacity building: radio talks, online counselling, group counselling, trainings, supervision and technical support to partners: AVEGA, AERG, GAERG, NRS, RPS, District,…….
Some of our partners have supported our work either in providing technical support or funding. For that support in hard times, we are very grateful (proposal have been submitted, staff acquired new skills, sanitation materials have been provided, relief was done to 52 households and online therapeutic sessions have continued…), parents have showed strengths and will in collaboration.
Children/youth are always there standing for a bright future as the future of the society and UYISENGA NI IMANZI Team remains very committed to bring its stone to the country’s recovery and development.
#Stay home #stay safe #Stay Connected