Congolese Refugees living at Kigeme Refugee Camp in Rwanda embraced a new project—Early Childhood Development (ECD) center for children, from the Japanese government.
Kigeme Refugee camp is located in Nyamagabe District in the Southern Province.
The project was inaugurated by the ambassador to Rwanda, Kazuya Ogawa on March 6, 2014 who also made donations of teaching materials to the school teachers at the camp.
Aside the inauguration the ambassador also toured the renovated health post, water tanks and latrines.
The total population of the camp is over 18,000 of which 85% is women and children and 18% are children under the age of 5. There are 351 persons with disabilities.
In 2012 Rwanda received an influx of 35,000 refugees, majority being women and children.
“At the time, the government was faced with the challenging task to protect them, we were fortunate to have this partnership – the generous donation by the Japanese that enable the One UN to support refugees in Kigeme and other places, ” said Mukantabana Seraphine the Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee affairs MIDIMAR.
According to Neimah Warsame, UNHCR representative in Rwanda, the Japanese donation substantially improved the accessibility of the facilities to all the residents in Kigeme camp, including small children and those with disabilities.
“This is a community that is aspiring, and is supported by the government from the district to province to central level, “said Warsame.
The Nyamagabe district welcomed the refugees so humanely. MIDIMAR took the issues seriously and worked to find solutions. Here, the partnership starts from grassroots all the way to the central level.” She added
In 2013, Japan donated USD 5.9 million to Rwanda through the UN agencies and recently announced additional USD 3.1 million.