Rwanda: Unity Club Opens Home for the Elderly

12 October 2019

Unity Club has opened a building that will harbor 50 elderly people who survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rusizi, Eastern Province.

Launched on Saturday, the home currently hosts about 40 people, 32 of whom are women (mostly widows) and 8 men.

Dubbed "Impinganzima," the facility comprises comfortable sleeping quarters, water tanks, a kitchen, and a dining facility, a place for the elderly to meet and socialize, among others.

Under the leadership of the First Lady Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, the Unity Club and other partners have been investing in providing genocide widows with shared shelter, necessary support, and care.

The club was founded in 1996 by spouses of former and current cabinet members with the aim of promoting unity and social development.

Speaking at the launch of the home, Solina Nyirahabimana, the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, told the beneficiaries that they are loved by their leaders, and promising that even other needs they have will be met.

"It is love that makes them (leaders) think about what you need," she said as she urged them to train the youth to love their country, love unity and to work hard".

Valérie Mukabayire, the President of AVEGA-Agahozo, an Association of Genocide Widows, thanked the First Lady and the Unity Club for caring for the old widows, constructing for them homes and supporting them so that they age in a dignified environment.

Veliana Nuvugamenshi, shared a story of how the facility gives her hope, despite the losses she suffered in the previous years.

"I lost my children and husband. We suffered many losses, we lost our dignity in the previous government. Previous Rwanda condemned us to death but now we are taken care of. Our leaders are taking good care of us. In this home, young people feed us, make our beds. We thank God," she said.

The launch coincided with the celebrations of the National Unity and Reconciliation Week, where the Minister for Local Government Anastase Shyaka urged residents of Rusizi District to protect the wellbeing of the country and family.

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