Kigali

Kigali

Kigali is the capital and largest city in Rwanda. Kigali has a population of nearly 1 million people, and is geographically centrally located within the country of Rwanda. Kigali suffers the country's highest rate of HIV and AIDS infection, with more than 7% of the population infected. A large number of children in Kigali, and in other urban areas of Rwanda, are born HIV-positive, acquiring the disease from their mothers, and many more children have lost one or both parents to the disease. The lack of access to medical care perpetuates the cycle of HIV and AIDS in Kigali, where most of its citizens are extremely poor, living in squalid slums in conditions of great suffering and need.

Rwanda

Urban Region

  • The cost of living in Rwanda's urban centers is higher than in the countryside, a struggle for families who move there to find work. The cost of living in Rwanda's urban centers is higher than in the countryside, a struggle for families who move there to find work.
  • Children's healthy physical development is ensured through nutritious meals. They also learn about good hygiene and sanitation practices. Children's healthy physical development is ensured through nutritious meals. They also learn about good hygiene and sanitation practices.
  • At Compassion centers, children engage in a variety of activities, including receiving help with their schoolwork. At Compassion centers, children engage in a variety of activities, including receiving help with their schoolwork.
  • Thanks to caring sponsors and a program that is Christ-centered, children have the opportunity to learn about Jesus' love. Thanks to caring sponsors and a program that is Christ-centered, children have the opportunity to learn about Jesus' love.
  • These girls perform a traditional Rwandan dance. At their Compassion centers, children are encouraged to be proud of their cultural heritage. These girls perform a traditional Rwandan dance. At their Compassion centers, children are encouraged to be proud of their cultural heritage.
  • A typical home in the slums is a small, one-room unit with mud walls and dirt floors. A typical home in the slums is a small, one-room unit with mud walls and dirt floors.
  • Rwanda's city slums, like this one, are crowded and unsanitary: a hazardous environment for children. Rwanda's city slums, like this one, are crowded and unsanitary: a hazardous environment for children.
 
RWANDA OVERVIEW

Population

12,337,138

Religion

Roman Catholic

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Urban Rwanda Rwanda Overview
  • Rwanda’s urban centers are home to about 19 percent of the country’s total population. In these cities, thousands of families live in dire poverty in crowded slums.
  • Job opportunities, especially for uneducated, unskilled adults, are few, and the cost of living is high.
  • As a result, children often go without having their basic needs for food, education and health care met.
  • Malnutrition is common, and the lack of proper sanitation and clean water in the city slums means children are vulnerable to a host of diseases.
  • Families often migrate from one dilapidated rental house to another as rents are raised or they fall behind in their payments and are forced to move out.
  • Children also face instability in their families. The strain of poverty often leads to families breaking apart, and many urban children are being raised by single parents.
COMMUNITY
Rwanda Community
Issues and Concerns
  • In addition to inferior housing, city-dwelling families in Rwanda suffer the health threats of poor sanitation.
  • Open, running sewage and a lack of garbage collection services result in chronic illness, an especially dire situation for young children, for whom a case of diarrhea can be life-threatening.
  • Stagnant pools of water, fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes, lead to frequent outbreaks of malaria.
  • Malnutrition is common for children in the city slums, where many families can afford only one meal a day.
  • The desperation of people living in Rwanda’s urban slums also leads to rampant drug addiction, prostitution, gang activity and violent crime.
Local Needs and Challenges

High rent

Rent is very expensive, so tenants often work for their landlords as farmers, which means they have less time to farm for their own families.

Instability

Parents who cannot afford rent move frequently, and this can negatively affect their children’s performance at school and the Compassion-assisted center.

EDUCATION
Rwanda education
Schools and Education
  • The government’s provision of primary education means that most children are able to attend some school.
  • The school year starts in January and comprises three terms, ending in October.
  • Despite the government’s commitment to provide education to all children, classrooms are typically poorly equipped and crowded, with one teacher to every 50 students.
  • Among Rwanda’s population, only 70 percent of those age 15 and over are able to read or write. And fewer women than men are literate.

Compassion Rwanda works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and we provide additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

Compassion serves children in Rwanda’s urban areas through local, church-based child development centers. These centers are havens of love and learning for registered children.

Here, children receive nutritious meals, hygiene training, and tutoring to attain standard academic milestones. They are also encouraged to develop their talents and abilities.

Most important, children learn about God’s love and the gift of salvation in Christ.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to urban Rwanda’s children in need, providing:  

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the help and hope that Rwanda’s impoverished urban children need to look forward to a brighter future
  • the tuition, uniforms and supplies they need to attend school, as well as extra lessons and tutoring
  • literacy lessons for caregivers, as well as training in such marketable skills as tailoring, hairdressing, hotel cooking and embroidery
  • micro-loans for eligible caregivers to start their own businesses and better provide for their families
  • training about the love and Word of God. Many have decided to follow Christ.