Twiyubake /Improved Services for Vulnerable Populations

Global Communities implements the Improved Services for Vulnerable Populations (ISVP) Program, which aims to assist 50,000 vulnerable households in 12 districts. Known locally as Twiyubake, which is Kinyarwanda for “Let’s Build Ourselves,” this program is a five-year initiative funded by USAID/PEPFAR that contributes to reduced risk and adverse impacts from health conditions like HIV/AIDS, particularly on vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations targeted by the program include people living with HIV (PLHIV); orphans and vulnerable children (OVC); out-of-school youth, particularly girls and young women; members of households caring for PLHIV or OVC; and very poor households, especially female- and widow-headed households. The Twiyubake Program helps these groups build their capacity to respond to and overcome conditions that cause vulnerability, and to gain access to health and social services that enable them to live healthy and productive lives. The program objectives include increasing capacity of families and communities to provide better care for vulnerable individuals; improving household and community care and support practices for vulnerable populations, especially children; and increasing access to education and social services for vulnerable populations. The program uses a family-centered approach to enhance capacity of households to improve health and economic conditions through interventions, such as health promotion, creation of clinical-community linkages, and economic strengthening, in ways that the Government of Rwanda and local communities can sustain over time. Global Communities Rwanda partners with Partners in Health, as well as six Rwanda Partner Organizations (RPOs) - Young Women’s Christian Association of Rwanda (YWCA), DUHAMIC ADRI, Eglise Presbytérienne au Rwanda (EPR), Caritas Rwanda, African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) and Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Rwanda (FXB) - which implement the program in the targeted districts.

The Twiyubake Program also implements DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) interventions in Kicukiro and Nyarugenge districts through local implementing partners YWCA and DUHAMIC ADRI. Currently, several groups of adolescent girls and young women  meet at  confidential safe spaces availed by schools, churches, youth clubs, cell offices or private locations where they are trained by program mentors on sexual reproductive health and rights and life skills. AGYW also attend inspirational talks aimed at discussing topics related to HIV prevention and care for adolescents living with HIV.

Enabling Market Integration for Rural Group Empowerment

Under the umbrella of the Enabling Market Integration for Rural Group Empowerment (EMIRGE) program, Global Communities helped vulnerable families and communities through the cooperative development model by bringing Rwandans together to pool resources and work together to generate higher incomes. The EMIRGE program primarily assisted agricultural cooperatives in the maize and vegetable value chains. EMIRGE worked with Action for Enterprise (AFE), a leader in private sector development, to conduct intensive value chain studies in the maize and vegetable sectors. The EMIRGE Rwanda program then used AFE’s findings to create sustainable solutions to challenges in these sectors that benefit our cooperatives.
The EMIRGE program also focused on strengthening the cooperative structure to ensure the sustainability of these producer groups. We accomplished this objective by providing intensive trainings and instruction on cooperative fundamentals, management and good governance as well as providing comprehensive financial trainings. The EMIRGE program enlisted the assistance of an agronomist to implement farmer field schools for our cooperative members, which resulted in significant yield increases. EMIRGE examined cooperatives supported by the USAID Higa Ubeho program, and identified “lead” cooperatives from their portfolio that had the potential to graduate into the EMIRGE program to receive advanced technical assistance. Through the Cooperative Performance Index (CPI) and comprehensive trainings, the EMIRGE program made significant positive changes in the lives of our cooperative members. EMIRGE activities were part of a larger Global Cooperative Learning Program that sought to build on the experiences of cooperative members, private sector stakeholders and program implementers focusing on how cooperatives can have a positive impact on members, their communities and markets around the world.

Ejo Heza: A Brighter Future

The USAID Integrated Improved Livelihoods Program (IILP), known locally as “Ejo Heza”, was a five year, Feed the Future program implemented between 2011 and 2016 that improved the livelihoods of more than 140,000 Rwandans in the country’s South¬ern and Western Provinces. Kinyarwanda for “Brighter Future,” Ejo Heza worked primarily with subsistence farmers in Rutsiro, Ngororero, Karongi, Nyanza, Nyamagabe, Huye, Nyaruguru, and Gisagara Districts, and provided beneficiaries with the skills and tools necessary to increase agricultural production, improve house¬hold financial stability, improve health and nutrition, and become functionally literate. Implementation of the USAID Ejo Heza program was a collaborative effort between Global Communities, Save the Children, Rwanda Partner Organizations (RPOs), Rwandan Civil Society Organizations, and numerous Government of Rwanda (GoR) Ministries and local government agencies.

Higa Ubeho: Be Determined and Live

Through five years of implementation, the USAID/Higa Ubeho program assisted over 75,000 vulnerable households in 23 districts in Rwanda by increasing the use of community-based services among households with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and families affected by HIV. With over half of these households accessing a minimum of two care and support services, this program has demonstrated that local institutions can rapidly establish and scaleup services to vulnerable populations, linking them to services that will enable them to become increasingly self-reliant over time.

Ishema Mu Murwango (IMM)

Funded by USAID through the Displaced Children and Orphans’ Fund, Ishema Mu Muryango (IMM) had the objective of safely and sustainably reintegrating institutionalized children in two districts of Rwanda into their families or communities. The project also sought to prevent further institutionalization by developing family-based alternative care options that are both suitable and sustainable. These options included building the capacity of families and communities to provide better care to vulnerable children, increasing the capacity of local childcare professionals, and creating an effective district-level childcare system able to address the individual needs of children. The two target districts acted as catalysts for systemic change towards the complete closure of the orphanage system in Rwanda.

Download our Rwanda fact sheet here.