COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Rwanda

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Rwanda

Last Updated: 10/19/2020

Daily, Rwanda has been recording more COVID-19 recoveries than new positive cases since Sept. 14. The country has recorded only 32 deaths as of October 15, and there are currently less than 750 reported active cases. Most businesses, including restaurants, hotels, shops and tourism operations, have reopened. International air travel has resumed, but land borders remain closed. Upper primary and secondary school students are scheduled to return to schools on Nov. 2. The national curfew hours were reduced by two hours; the curfew is now from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Compassion center workers are communicating with children and caregivers by phone where possible and conducting home visits where it is safe to do so. Small groups have been able to gather to tend to gardens and care for their livestock. Staff members are working within local guidelines to distribute supplies and have been able to deliver 74,964 food packs and 255,953 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have helped 12,547 individuals access medical support. 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.

COVID response in Rwanda

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.

Updated: 08/20/2020

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 all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

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 74,964 food packs and 255,953 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in Rwanda

child reading IconStory From the Field

One day during the spring, when Rwanda was under total quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Olivier, 16, and his family were indoors at home, keeping an eye on the water that seeped under the door. It happened often when it rained. But this was not a normal rain.

“We were having some tea so that we could warm our bodies,” remembers Olivier. An hour later, they ran out of the house as the walls came crumbling down during a landslide.

Besides their house being destroyed, their garden — their source of livelihood — was also swept away. “Olivier’s family was about to harvest several food crops, like potatoes, beans, carrots and much more, which they would have sold and gotten an income,” says John, director of the Compassion center Olivier attends, “but it was all washed away by the floods.”

Compassion’s partner church is committed to all the children in its care, and quickly came to help. They moved the family temporarily into a school building. They brought food, including beans, rice, posho and cooking oil, and sanitation kits. And until the family is back on their feet, they continue to cover their essential needs and check on their well-being.

“My family and I are grateful to the Compassion center staff for standing with us during the tough times. We have received love and encouragement from them,” Olivier says.

“We are so grateful for the partnership we have with Compassion because we can provide support to our community in times of a crisis,” says John. “Olivier’s house will be renovated after the partial lockdown is lifted. We will give them seedlings for planting food crops.”

How can I pray for Rwanda?

Pray that preventive actions and increased testing for COVID-19 will reduce the spread of the disease in Rwanda. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

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