NGOs in Rwanda

Like many developing countries in the sub Saharan Africa, Rwanda is characterized by poverty, and limited capacity in quite a number of the country’s institutions. From April to July 1994, Rwanda came into international prominence when the country suffered a devastating genocide. This claimed an estimated one million men, women, and children who were brutally massacred in this premeditated genocide.

The aftermath of this saddening period left approximately 500,000 children orphaned 70% of who witnessed the brutal killing of relatives a reality that remains evident in their minds up to today. 60%-70% of the population now present is women and girls, with a vast number of widows. Institutional infrastructure was not spared as well and this also saw the country suffer the devastation of the rural economy, which involves 90% of the population.

The repercussions of the genocide moved civil society organizations (CSOs) and NGOs to emerge which aimed at helping to address social needs, including providing assistance to widows and orphans, traumatized survivors and child-headed households. It’s not shocking that the citizens of Rwanda continue to suffer from high levels of collective trauma and struggle with the social consequences of the genocide.

Rwanda Governance Board is the body that is responsible for registering NGOs in Rwanda. It has a division that handles local Non Government Organisations, Religious Based Organisations and political organisation’s registration as well as monitoring the functioning of these organizations. Below is a brief of how they categorise those organizations;

Religious based organisation
A Religious based organization is one whose members share similar beliefs, culture and practices.

Non governmental organization (NGO)
An NGO is an organization comprised of natural persons or of autonomous collective voluntary organizations who intend to improve economic, social and cultural development as well as to advocate for public interests of a specific group, natural persons, organizations or with the view of promoting a common interest of their members.

Here are some of the Non governmental organizations present here in Rwanda;

10,000 women program

10,000 Women is a five-year initiative that provides business and management education to underserved female entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets. This program is designed to drive greater shared economic growth which will eventually lead to stronger healthcare, education as well as greater prosperity in the communities where it operates. Rwanda is one country that is benefiting from this program.


Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is a United Nations Agency that has operated in Rwanda since 1985.   FAO has been working with Rwanda and other UN Agencies / NGO’s, local Communities and Civil Society to promote agricultural production and strive to ensure food security in the Rwanda. Its support focuses on emergency relief and rehabilitation, capacity building and technical assistance, food security and poverty alleviation as well as policy support.


United Nations Development Programme is an NGO which works with the Government of Rwanda and other development partners to build institutional capacity and sustainable development. UNDP plays a coordinating role with all UN Agencies operating in Rwanda; these agencies include the World Bank and the IMF.


This is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. It delivers emergency aid to survivors of natural disasters and war as well as helping people to rebuild their lives. In Rwanda care International works in Kamonyi, Rulindo, Musanze, Nyanza, Nyamagabe, Rubavu, Rwamagana, Nyabihu, Nyarugengeee, Bugesera, Gasabo, Kicukiro.





Catholic Relief Services is an Ngo that works through an integrated approach that combines nutrition, agriculture and economic strengthening to help helpless people to improve their quality of their lives.


International Committee of the Red Cross is a worldwide independent and neutral organization that works to provide humanitarian assistance for people affected by conflicts and armed violence and also promote the laws that protect victims of war. This is as well present here in Rwanda.


World Concern is dedicated to tackling poverty and suffering in the world’s poorest countries. Here in Rwanda It works in the following sectors: health, HIV and AIDS, livelihoods, and primary education which are implemented in Gakenke, Huye, Nyaruguru and Gisagara.


Union Methodist Commitee On Relief is another NGO that operates in Rwanda. UMCOR’s mission is to make disciples by first of all reaching out to the people, accepting them and sharing with them faith as they gladly receive all those who respond.


World Food Program is a UN humanitarian aid agency that makes use of food resources to assist the hungry poor and the most vulnerable. It supports for saving lives, building self-reliance and alleviating poverty, here in Rwanda it works in Kigali, Ngoma and Huye.


Save the Children has been in Rwanda for many years and is most known for helping trace parents or relatives of children who had been separated from their families during the genocide. Save the Children is mainly working in Burera, Gicumbi, Ruhango and Rubavu.


World Health Organization (WHO) is under the United Nations and is the directing and coordinating authority for health. Here in Rwanda WHO promotes the attainment of the highest sustainable level of health by all people living in the country by collaborating and working with the government as well as other partners in developing health and the providing technical and logistic support to country programmes.


One Comment

  1. ‘Hotel Rwanda’ is an amazing film that helps bring to light what henapps in the sad reality of the international community stepping back in situations instead of stepping in. The horrible sequence of events in the Rwanda genocide has certainly helped change policy and bring focus to the hardships of Africa and how pouring money and food at a problem is not always a solution.

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