1. Rwanda Head Office
Rwanda is located in central and eastern Africa, a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Because of the 1994 genocide, the prevalence of AIDS/HIV among the population, and ongoing conflicts among communities, Rwanda’s economy has suffered greatly. In recent years, however, Rwanda has been steadily rebuilding its economy through foreign investments, coffee and tea exports, and tourism.
Good Neighbors initially started disaster relief work in August 1994 and was approved by the government of Rwanda as an international non-governmental organization in 2010. Many children in Rwanda are unable to attend school because their families are too poor to buy textbooks, uniforms, and school supplies. The government is also struggling to operate schools in communities, and some schools have been shut down because of lack of funding.
In response, Good Neighbors started supporting children’s tuition, school supplies, and uniforms so they could return to school. Since 2007, Good Neighbors has collaborated with the local government to build and support a kindergarten in Runda. To help increase incomes for families, Good Neighbors offers sewing classes and lends livestock and seeds to residents so they can start farming operations. For the 650 sponsored children in the Ngoma area, Good Neighbors supports vocational training, elementary and middle school education, and campaigns for human rights. For local residents, various programs such as literacy education, income generation, human rights advocacy, job training, and more are part of the community development plans.
2. Gisozi Community Development Project
Good Neighbors launched a community development project in the slum area of Gisozi in 2004. The total population of the region is approximately 20,000, with many people living on less than $1/day. The enrollment rate in elementary schools is 95%, while the rate in middle schools drops dramatically to 30%. Good Neighbors has started running daycare centers as well as supporting school meals and school supplies, and a Good Neighbors employee visits individual homes to make sure children are being sent to school.
For girls who still aren’t able to attend middle school, Good Neighbors holds vocational training workshops to help them develop skills and become independent. Good Neighbors also makes it a priority to provide more opportunities for women—whose social and economic activities are very limited—by offering literacy education and sewing classes.
In an effort to improve the overall health of the community, Good Neighbors also provides mosquito nets to help prevent malaria, and mobile clinic services and health education classes.
3. Runda Community Development Project
Good Neighbors has been operating a community development project in Runda since 2007. By supporting school tuition, supplies, and salaries for teachers, seven kindergartens are operating in the region and 272 children in the community are attending school. Through the child sponsorship program, Good Neighbors also provides school supplies and lunchtime meals for 293 elementary school students.
In an effort to improve the overall health of community members, Good Neighbors provides basic health education classes and medical services, and distributes mosquito nets to prevent malaria. To help families increase their incomes, vocational training workshops on sewing, carpentry, construction, and agriculture are also offered.
4. Ngoma Community Development Project
In Ngoma, 80% of people are struggling because of the poor economy, and the average monthly income is less than $20. Good Neighbors started community development projects in 2010. By supporting tuition, school supplies, reading contests, and scholarship programs, children in the area are able to receive a high-quality education.
Also, Good Neighbors provides school meals, medical check-ups, sanitation workshops, and builds drinking water systems and toilets for local residents to improve the community’s overall health and sanitation. In addition, Good Neighbors works to increase family’s incomes by hosting classes on farming techniques and lending livestock and seeds so families can start farming on their own.