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Rwanda Distributes Food Under Coronavirus Lockdown




Rwandans will not stay indoors on empty stomachs during the ongoing lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus epidemic.

The Government of Rwanda on Saturday started distributing essentials first to the most vulnerable citizens across the country, hours after President Kagame announced the support program in a televised state of the nation address.

Sector pick-up trucks were seen in different sectors loaded with basic essentials including; maize flour, beans, cooking oil, rice, salt, and sugar and soap.

All items are locally produced. Rations will be issued based on the number of people in a household.

Sector workers used weighing scales to ensure equal packages for every beneficiary.

With environmental protection as a major principle to adhere to, all essentials were packaged in paper envelopes before handing them to beneficiaries.

Through Ubudehe program all Rwandan households are categorized to ensure their economic status.

It is very simple for every sector to know poorest families in category 1. Other categories include 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

However, last year the government launched an exercise to review the entire Ubudehe social stratification for all Rwandans because in the past, some citizens complained against being placed in wrong categories.

Every three years, Ubudehe categories are updated in order to identify the best practices, challenges and gaps and make necessary changes to the system

Understanding The categories

Rwanda’s total population is 12million citizens.

According to the Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs, categorization is composed of four levels.

Category One – there are 1.5million Rwandans in the first category equivalent to 16% of the total population. (These are people with no means to own or rent homes of their own and can hardly put food on the table.)

For Category Two, there are 3.1 million people, accounting for 29.8% of the population. (These have part time small jobs and either own cheap houses or are able to pay rent.)

Category Three is composed of 5.8 million Rwandans. (These are farmers, professionals, and business owners. They don’t need government for survival)

Category four is made up of the rich especially public servants from the level of Director General and over and large business owners.

Meawhile, since the exercise began, several donations are trickling in from different supporters. For example Simba Supermarket donated 10,000kg of spaghetti to the City of Kigali.

Also, Africa Improved Foods the Manufacturer of highly nutritious cereal based foods have donated a truck filled with flour to support this initiative within Kigali.

“It is in times like these that we need to lend a helping hand. In partnership with Local Government Ministry , we have donated Nootri porridge flours to support those affected by the current situation caused the Covid-19 outbreak in the City of Kigali,” Africa Improved foods said.

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Kagame Calls On Men To Stop Violence Against Women



Men with masculine behaviors that hinder the development of women as well as their empowerment must stop it, President Kagame told a gathering in Kinshasa, DRC on Thursday.

“We must act to tackle the structural impediments and deep seated norms that fuel harmful masculinities, and cultivate positive notions of masculinity. Gender equality is much more a moral obligation. It is a right that cannot be abridged,” President Kagame said at the conference on gender, violence against women and girls and men’s conference on positive masculinity, joining other African Heads of State and Government.

He said men are the authors of violence against women and girls. Men should reverse the behaviors by taking a responsibility to speak and take action against the violence of women as well as changing their mindset.

“We must commit to tackling the negative mindsets in some men and boys that normalize violence against women and girls. Working together, we can end this scourge. Men have a special responsibility to speak out and take action,” he said.

He noted that a strong legal framework that promotes women empowerment and gender equality would be vital for women empowerment agenda to be effective.

“Women’s empowerment should be anchored in strong legal and policy framework.”

According to the UN Women, one of the key consequences of gender-based violence (GBV) in Rwanda is the drastic increase in teen pregnancies.

UN Women reports that teen pregnancies increased from 17,000 cases to 23,000 teen pregnancies in 2019.

The UN Women also adds that there are a number of unreported cases due to a culture of silence at community levels combined with patriarchal social norms and cultural beliefs.

“Thank you President Tshisekedi for the invitation to attend this very important conference on gender,violence against women and girls and the role of men in ensuring that violence against women and girls is eliminated. Africa has a role to play,” Kagame said.

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Rwanda Army Gets 1000 More Advanced Infantry Soldiers



Close to 1000 RDF soldiers including Junior officers and other Ranks completed a 6 months Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at Nasho Basic Military Training Center, in Kirehe District.

AIT is designed to enhance skills of ordinary infantry to enable them effectively perform infantry tasks while fulfilling RDF missions.

The graduation ceremony was presided over by the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Jean Bosco Kazura on behalf of the RDF Commander in Chief, President Paul Kagame.

In his remarks, the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Jean Bosco Kazura commended the graduates for their milestone achievement, commitment and discipline. He also appreciated the leadership of the training centre including instructors who work day and night to build their competencies and skills to be effective leaders and soldiers in their respective roles.

The overall best officer, 2nd Lieutenant Fred Rugamba said that the knowledge acquired will help them to fulfil their responsibilities.

“As a serving officer, I  was able to acquire additional skills that will enable me to serve my institution and country better,” he said.

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Israel Donates 20 Cows To Vulnerable Families In Rwanda



The Israel Embassy in Rwanda, on behalf of the Israel’s agency for International Development, MASHAV, on Thursday, November 25, donated cows to 20 vulnerable families in Rulindo District, Northern Province.

This is in line with the government of Rwanda’s Girinka program also known as ‘One Cow Per Poor Family’, initiated in 2006.

The event was held in Rusiga sector, and was attended by the Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda, Dr. Ron Adam, the Acting Mayor of Rulindo District, AlBashir Bizumuremyi, representatives of security organizations and beneficiaries of the program among other attendees.

In his remarks, Ambassador Adam underscored that Israel is pleased to support Rwanda’s existing efforts to promote Rwandans’ welfare.

“Israel is happy to support Girinka program initiated by H.E President Paul Kagame. We realized that a cow is one of the most sustainable support you can give, because the beneficiary is able to get milk and fertilizer, and can make money out of it. This is the third time we are donating cows, and we are looking forward to continue doing so,” he said.

He added: “The support is yet another sign of existing good relations between Israel and Rwanda.”

In 2020 and June this year, Israel donated 40 cows to families in Nyamasheke and Gisagara Districts.

According to Girinka program, a beneficiary receives a heifer, raises it and when she gives birth, the first female calf is given to another poor family and the process continues.

This said, Bizumuremyi underscored that the 20 cows are a significant contribution to existing efforts.

“A cow is a sign of prosperity and wealth. We are grateful to the Israel Embassy for this support, because it contributes to the existing efforts by the Government of Rwanda to improve citizens’ social welfare,” he said.

So far, as per the statistics of Rulindo district, 10264 residents of the district have benefited from Girinka Program.

Beneficiaries speak out

Honorine Mukeshimana, a resident of Gako cell, Rusiga sector in Rulindo district is one of the beneficiaries. She explains that the cow she received will help her to cater for her families’ day-to-day needs.

“My three children will no longer miss milk on the table. Also, as a farmer, the problem of lack of manure will be no more. My harvest is going to increase, and hopefully I will be able to not only feed my home, but also sell my produce,” she said.

This was also reiterated by Innocent Niringiyimana, a father of three who resides in Kirenge cell.

“This is a dream come true. I am very grateful to the Israel Embassy in Rwanda and our government for this program. My family and I are going to make sure we take care of this cow so that it helps us to develop ourselves,” he underscored.

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