Health Development Initiative-Rwanda (HDI) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization based in Kigali and registered with the Rwandan government. We strive to improve both the quality and accessibility of health care for all Rwandans through advocacy, education, and training. HDI was founded in 2005 by a dedicated group of Rwandan physicians working in health facilities and communities across the country. This diverse group of health professionals was united by a shared commitment to improve the health of disadvantaged communities within and outside of the health care system. Today, HDI brings together a team with vast experience in medicine, public health, and community development to bridge the gap between communities and the health care system.
2014 International HIV Research Conference
HDI attended the 7th International HIV Research Conference in Kigali last week, organized by RBC, RBC partners, and other stakeholders. The theme of the conference was 'Using Evidence to Save Lives' to emphasize the importance of using evidence based research to inform international HIV prevention and treatment interventions. At the conference, HDI had the privilege of presenting how its Sexual Health and Reproductive Education (SHARE) program, lead by Kamarebe Josephina and Juliana Saracino, successfully addressed inactivity among Kigali Anti-AIDS clubs by including peer guidance and financial support components.
The conference came at at critical time for the global health community as the year 2015 approaches, marking the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As a result of its timing, the conference provided a unique opportunity to share information about the current state of HIV across the world, and in Rwanda in particular. The resounding message was that while there has been positive change, there is still room for improvement. For example, only 50.5% of males and 59.1% of females aged 15-19 years old were tested for HIV in Rwanda in 2013. As we enter the post MDGs phase, the HIV research and intervention community must use lessons learned from the past three decades to inform future work and propel Rwanda into an AIDS free generation.
Success of HDI's Cooperatives of PLWHIV
Last week, HDI went to the Eastern province to visit three of its six Global Fund cooperatives. The cooperatives were created to help people living with HIV to sustain themselves and support their families.
Two of the cooperatives rear goats and the other rears pigs, the latter proving to be very successful. The pig cooperative has built a large pigpen for its growing number of pigs – now each of the 20 members has their own pig to rear at home. The cooperative has grown so much that the district has agreed to award 1,000,000RWF (approximately 1,450USD) towards its expansion.
Providence's Success Story
Last week, Nyiransabimana Providence, received an award from the Mayor for being the woman who has demonstrated the most progress and growth in the Ndera sector. Providence is a member of the community of potters, a historically marginalized population that HDI has been supporting since 2008.
Among this community, Providence showed remarkable potential, consistently grasping on to new concepts and finding new ways to earn money. Seeing this potential, HDI awarded Providence a loan of 90,000RWF, approximately 131USD, in 2012. With the loan, she bought produce, beverages, and other goods to sell in her local community. By demonstrating that she was able to manage a small loan, she was able to attain further loans from a local bank to grow her business.
Now, Providence makes a profit of 75,000RWF (about 109USD) per month. With this money, she contributes to her family by buying clothes and food, as well as by paying for her four children to attend private school. Providence has also constructed a house with three rooms, one room for her shop and two others for renting out.
Providence’s success is monumental and HDI is pleased to have been catalyst of her growth.
NGO Launches Campaign on Gender Violence
Health Development Initiative (HDI)-Rwanda yesterday launched a campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Mumuri sector of Nyagatare District. Local leaders across the district joined the NGO in a one day campaign against GBV, and spread of HIV/AIDS in rural communities. Read more on AllAfrica.com.