COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Rwanda

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Rwanda

Last Updated: 07/09/2020

Rwanda has recently experienced a surge of cases, and announced its first deaths from the virus in June. Borders remain closed, and schools, places of worship and Compassion centers are closed until September. A curfew is in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and masks must be worn in public at all times. Public and private businesses can resume with essential staff only. Borders remain closed and domestic and international travel are limited to charter flights. Parts of Rusizi and Kigali remain locked down.

Compassion center workers are communicating with children and caregivers by phone where possible and conducting home visits where it is safe to do so. They have been able to provide care and support to vulnerable children, including those who are malnourished and have medical issues. Staff members are working within local guidelines to distribute supplies and have been able to deliver 73,322 food packs and 100,476 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have helped 4,542 individuals access medical support during the quarantine. Sponsor gifts to children and families are being delivered as electronic cash transfers. The Compassion Rwanda office is working with local staff to offer counseling support during this difficult season.

A line of woman walk carrying food bags on their heads

megaphone IconA Message From Compassion Rwanda’s National Director

Hear from John Nkubana, National Director of Compassion Rwanda, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Rwanda.

Recorded: 05/31/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Rwanda?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Rwanda, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Rwanda are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 73,322 food packs and 100,476 hygiene kits to children and their families!

A boy in a striped shirt prays

child reading IconStory From the Field

As countries like Rwanda enact strict quarantines to slow the spread of COVID-19, women like Sonia* are left trapped in their homes with abusive spouses. After Sonia’s husband threatened to kill her, Sonia took her five children to the Compassion center her daughter, Carene*, attends.

Staff members reported the abuse to the local authorities, who issued a restraining order. They were then able to rent the family a home and provide food to Sonia and her children. They hope to help her start a small business soon. But in the meantime, they are ensuring that the entire family is receiving the emotional support and counseling they need.

“Losing a home that you have shared as a family is tough but your children witnessing their father abusing you verbally and physically is unbearable,” says Sonia.

Three times a week, Claudine, a health worker at the child development center, holds counseling and prayer sessions with Sonia.

“Claudine, along with other center staff and caregivers, have counseled, prayed, and encouraged me, especially during this COVID-19 lockdown when we are in isolation," says Sonia.


*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

How can I pray for Rwanda?

This month, will you join us in praying with the people of Rwanda as they mourn the first new coronavirus-related death in the country? You can also visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for weekly global prayer guides.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Rwanda
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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