Building Resilient Communities
Since 1994, Alight has built a team that can act quickly in emergencies - but who can think creatively, act compassionately, and constantly strive to be simply better.
Our programs are diverse in Rwanda, with health, livelihoods, nutrition, protection, shelter, and sanitation and sanitation programs throughout the refugees camps where we work. Rwanda is a small country. But our team - and the people we serve - are mighty.
The changing dynamics of displaced persons demands deeper reflection and a shift to more meaningful engagement of affected populations as principal parties, contributors and shapers of their futures and destiny..
– Bernad Ochieng, Country Director
At the heart of what we do in the country are the essential, lifesaving services offered to over 100,000 refugees, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo. We help to provide the camp infrastructure required to support those who have lost nearly everything, including basic, primary healthcare, reliable water sources, and a roof over their heads.
Our health services save lives. More children are reaching their fifth birthday than ever before, with 100% vaccination rates and vast improvements in maternal health. We provide clean, reliable water through ARC’s camp-wide water systems. Our strength is in the design and construction of durable, cost-effective structures, we build housing, latrines, showers, and cooking areas. We help people to rebuild resiliency and find a place of stability in an otherwise uncertain world.
Building In-Camp Economies
Livelihoods and food security are inextricably linked – families who struggle to work toward economic recovery find it difficult to provide nutritious and plentiful food to their families. We look for ways to strengthen that link, partnering with refugee communities to shape projects that connect jobs to food security and nutrition.
We assist families with poultry, vegetable, passion fruit, and mushroom farming, which increase incomes while also providing a consistent supply of food. New collaborations are on the horizon, including an income-generating grinding mill program that will support families in maize production.
Building in-camp economies also means encouraging healthier nutrition practices. As families are able to earn and save, they in turn gain the freedom to make more choices in the food they eat. We provide healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition education, combining knowledge with access to the expanding food options our livelihoods projects provide.
Collaboration in a crisis
During the 2015 influx of Burundian refugees into Rwanda, we led the construction of Mahama refugee camp. Acting quickly alongside other partners, we provided shelter to over 28,000 people. Since the initial phase of construction in Mahama, we have continued to work alongside the community to understand what they need most. We’ve built semi-permanent structures enabling families to move from temporary structures into a more durable home. We also believe in the importance of sustainable construction and responsible building practices. In Rwanda, we lobbied for the use of environmentally friendly building materials which will be introduced in future building projects.
Rwanda: Related Information
Transformational, globally relevant change for refugees in Rwanda
It all began with Gaetan.Gaetan is young man from Congo, but he’s lived in Nyabiheke Refugee Camp in Rwanda for the past 15 years. Like any young person, Gaetan wants to be connected. But Nyabiheke is frustratingly cut off from the world – the nearest internet café is 15km away, and even that is bare bones, with old computers and spotty wi-fi. (more…)
ARC Staff Making ChangeOn World Refugee Day, we launched our fourth annual Changemakers Award Competition. Changemakers is an ideas competition for our 1,600 staff around the world. We ask everyone one simple question and provide the platform for their ideas to pour in. (more…)