10 January 2013

Rwanda: FARG Has Its Purpose - It's Not a Milking Cow


The news that the Genocide Survivors Support and Assistance Fund (FARG by its French acronym) had relocated over 500 students it was sponsoring in three schools raises more questions than answers.

The Fund supports Genocide survivors, especially students and the vulnerable, and currently sponsors close to 5,000 students all over the country.

The reasons given that led to the transfer of the 500-plus students was that the three schools where they were enrolled were offering substandard services: poor education, feeding, etc, yet FARG had covered the bill.

But the sore thumb that stood out was that one of the schools, APERWA, in Gasabo District, lost 416 FARG sponsored students. Taking into account that its total student population is about 600, it lost two-thirds of its students; in other words, it was being sustained by the taxpayer.

How does FARG enrol over 400 students in one establishment which later turns out to be a dud? That is the crux of the matter. There have been complaints in the past that FARG has been a milking cow to many unscrupulous people, its leadership rotated faster than a propeller, and yet the dirt continues to the surface.

If it is not about some sub-standard, over-billed housing for survivors, it is about some contractor pocketing the money and vanishing into the thin air.

The Ministry of Education should look into the APERWA saga as city education inspection authorities remain unconvincing enough.

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