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    Nyabiheke staff pitch in and band together

    Day 218

    A Safety Net

    We are in Rwanda again, this time visiting the ARC team at Nyabiheke Refugee Camp in eastern Rwanda. We asked our teams – who do extremely challenging work with some of the world’s most vulnerable people – what could you do with $500 to take better care of yourself and your team members.

    The team at Nyabiheke already had their idea. In fact, they’ve been doing it since 2013.

    Staff participate in what they call their Cadenya Association, giving just under $2 per month. So far, since the Cadenya began they’ve collected roughly $1,400. But that money doesn’t sit in the association treasury. The Cadenya is meant to be a mini- safety net for Nyabiheke staff.

    “The Cadenya’s main purpose is to provide mutual solidarity support in times of sadness or joy,” said Dr. Jean-Nepo Hakizamungu, current President of the Cadenya Association. “At these times, the Cadenya hands a member 50,000 Rwandan Francs (or $60)” to help them through this difficult time or celebrate a joyous occasion.

    In the last 12 months, the Cadenya has assisted, among many others, Pauline when she fell ill, Antoine when his son was born and Odette when she lost her husband.

    The support from the Cadenya makes all the difference for our Nyabiheke staff. So when they heard they might have an additional $500 they were thrilled. And they had lots of ideas about how to use it. First, they organized a staff party with volleyball and futbol and they invited UN, Rwandan government and other partner agencies to join (in addition to providing support to members when they need it, the Cadenya also supports a few staff events every year – picnics, baby showers, or farewell parties).

    They hope to also extend participation in the Cadenya to their partner organizations in Nyabiheke.

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    Changemakers 365

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