Programme period: 1994 – 2004
Between April until July 1994 a genocide took place in Rwanda in which up to more than 1,000,000 of Rwanda’s inhabitants were killed, while many more were wounded physically and psychologically.
In August 1994 ZOA started with an integrated Relief & Rehabilitation project in Kanazi Sous-Préfecture (Bugesera district) at the request of the Rwandan local authorities and, later the Ministry of Rehabilitation.
The main initial activities were the rehabilitation of a water supply in the area, distributions (seeds, agricultural tools, food), medical care (supporting and supervising 8 health centers), trauma counseling and other rehabilitation activities (repair of building, bridges). These services included activities in food security, community development, HIV/AIDS awareness, small business and WASH.
A key element in all programme activity was the reintegration of various groups in the society: the survivors of the genocide, the repatriates who had fled Rwanda before the ‘94 war and the groups of repatriates who had fled after this war is now taking place. This involved different groups with widely diverging cultural backgrounds (although unified by one language), and was a difficult process in which the Rwandan government takes a strong coordinating role.
The ZOA programme focused on women/widows, handicapped individuals, and orphans. ZOA also facilitated trauma-counseling training for church- and community leaders in Bugesera.
The programme was supported by BuZa and ZOA’s own funding.