Volunteer in RWANDA
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Kinyarwanda, French, English
POPULATION: 11.69 million
GDP per CAPITA (PPP US$): Rwanda $1,400 Canada $41,100
% of Population BELOW POVERTY LINE: 44.9%
WHY VOLUNTEER IN RWANDA?
Rwanda is a land locked, resource poor country with about 90% of the population engaged in agriculture and some mineral and agro-processing. Years of civil war culminating in the genocide of 1994 had a devastating social and economic impact on the country. Over 1 million lives were lost and another 1 million Rwandans became refugees. Volunteers who choose Rwanda make an important gesture of international solidarity. By visiting the people and witnessing the legacy of violence, volunteers honour the country's efforts to rebuild for a peaceful and sustainable future.
Participants support villages in the rural areas of Rwanda with our Host Partner, Building Bridges With Rwanda (BBR). They work with the communities building infrastructure such as schools and community centres. Our long term commitment is to help improve the community members' life options and to increase their self-sufficiency. Listen to this CBC radio interview with BBR director, Lama Mugabo, as he talks about his life, the Rwandan Genocide, and how his organization's work is helping to rebuild Rwanda.
Volunteer! Work with locals to build community and important community infrastructure projects. No special skills are required. Currently, participants are supporting projects in the villages of Gashora and Kazo in the District of Bugesera. During the 1994 genocide, the District of Bugesera was the epicentre of the genocide. In recent years, the government of Rwanda has implemented many development projects in the district, including irrigation projects, new schools, and health centres to bring new hope to this area and create sustainable livelihoods.
The current project in Gashora is to continue construction of the Covaga Innovation Centre, a place that aims to be a hub of environmental innovation, agricultural initiatives, and economic development. The Covaga is a group of weavers who use the water hyacinth plant to create beautiful woven products, like baskets. These plants clog local water systems, and by removing them, it helps stop water degredation and protects aquatic life. This centre will provide a place for the weavers to create and sell their goods, helping to combat poverty in the area. In the community of Kazo, volunteers will work on building a health centre.
Upon completion of the volunteer experience, we recommend you visit the Genocide Museum in Kigali. Visit the incredibly lush and beautiful scenery in Rwanda and take an excursion in the Parc National des Volcans, the last sanctuary of the endangered mountain gorilla. Get close to some of Rwanda’s fantastic wildlife at the A’Kagera National Park which covers over 2,500 sq km of savannah and is a habitat for over 500 species of birds.
WHEN CAN I GO?
Volunteer Experience Schedule
|MAY 4 - JUNE 1 Student (Gashora)|
| OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 26 Short Term (Gashora)|
|FEBRUARY 8 - FEBRUARY 22 Short Term (Gashora)|
| MAY 3 - MAY 31 Student (TBD)|
|JULY 5 - JULY 19 Short Term (Gashora)|
|OCTOBER 11 - OCTOBER 25 Short Term (Gashora)|
Note: The Volunteer Experiences Schedule will be updated every two weeks.
It is subject to change depending on flight arrangements and suitability for host communities.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
SHORT TERM TRIPS: A two week volunteer trip to Rwanda costs $1,999. This includes the in-country food, in-country ground transportation, in-country accommodation, program costs and a substantial direct donation to the host partner. Airfare is not included; however, the entire cost paid through DWC is 100% tax deductible, including your flights.
STUDENT TRIPS: A four week student trip to Rwanda varies in price between $2,200 to $2,600 (not including airfare) depending on the number of participants. You can fundraise for your trip and DWC will issue charitable receipts to your donors.
Trips may be cancelled if not enough people are registered so please sign-up early to avoid disappointment. A $500 deposit is required to hold your spot on the trip; the remaining balance is due 60 days prior to your trip.
We invite people who cannot give the gift of time to donate to the Rwandan projects and programs through Developing World Connections.