Join the RAUW-IFUW Friendship Tour!
See first-hand education at work in Rwanda
23 June to 2 July 2012
The Rwanda Association of University Women (RAUW) welcomes you in Rwanda for a 10-day friendship tour. Take this great opportunity to:
- meet with government and NGO representatives promoting education and women's empowerment in Rwanda
- explore the country's history and culture (Kigali Memorial Center, Butare National Museum)
- participate in various excursions around the country (Gakenke, Musanze and the Akagera National Park)
Saturday (June 23): Kigali
Arrive in Kigali on Saturday and transfer to the elegant hotel situated in a quiet part of the city. Kigali, Rwanda’s capital is located in the geographical center of the country. As recently as 2007 termed the “fastest-growing” capital in the world, Kigali today is the picture of the modern African city. After the devastation of the 1994 genocide, it was rebuilt into the rapidly expanding economic and cultural hub of Rwanda. With a population of over a million, new office buildings, hotels, banks and shopping malls seem to arise over night. The paved streets are swept clean every morning and regularly lined by trees and flowers. Built on a spectacular series of never-ending hills, it offers a very pleasant high-altitude climate.
After lunch, the program starts with a historical exploration of the city that allows you to learn more about the pre-colonial, colonial, independence, genocide and post-genocide times.
Sunday (June 24): Kigali
Start the day with a visit to the Village of Hope of the Rwanda Women’s Network. Founded in 1995, the NGO works towards the promotion and improvement of the socio-economic welfare of women in Rwanda. Its four core programs include the provision of healthcare and health support, education and awareness raising on issues such as HIV/AIDS, human/legal rights, gender-based violence and socio-economic development, and networking and advocacy. The Village of Hope accommodates survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
In the afternoon, meet with your hosts from the Rwanda Association of University Women (RAUW), enter into conversations and start to build friendships.
Monday (June 25): Gakenke & Musanze
Your first day excursion takes you to the beautiful north of the country. Enjoy the rolling hills that gave Rwanda the nickname ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ and catch glimpses of the breathtaking Virunga volcanoes. You will visit two projects of Norwegian People’s Aid, the Norwegian labor movement’s humanitarian organization for solidarity. With its special support programs for vulnerable groups, they have a particular interest in rural women, youth and people with disabilities in Rwanda. Visit the Community Scorecard project in Gakenke and the Savings and Loans Society and Association Fighting Domestic Violence in Musanze to learn more about this work.
Tuesday (June 26): Kigali
Deepen your understanding of Rwanda’s gender dimensions during a visit to the Gender Monitoring Office and a roundtable with the Chief Gender Monitor. The Office, an independent public institution, monitors and supervises compliance with specific gender indicators and submits recommendations for the promotion of gender equality to various organs.
The second site visit of the day leads to Gahaya Links, an award-winning for-profit handicraft company based on the principle of women economic empowerment through fair trade. Crafted products include baskets, home décor, jewelry and textiles, all of which use traditional and authentic Rwandan patterns.
Last but not least, end the day on a reflective note by visiting the Kigali Memorial Center, the country’s main genocide memorial site and a museum on comparative genocides.
Wednesday (June 27): Butare
Today’s day excursion takes you to Butare in the south, the country’s old cultural and intellectual hub. Explore the National Museum with one of the best ethnographic collections in the East Africa region and the Belgian colonial architecture of the city. The National University of Rwanda then invites you to a special roundtable on the education of women and girls.
Thursday (June 28): Kigali
After your initial impressions and discussions on the various gender issues, it is now time to meet with the competent government representative as well as with women lawmakers. Meet with the Minister of Gender and Women in Development and with members of the Rwanda Women Parliamentarians Forum to learn more about their work, and share knowledge and experiences with them.
In the afternoon, visit the Rwandan headquarter of Women for Women International, a US-based NGO that helps women in post-war countries rebuild their lives, families and communities. In Rwanda, the organization has helped over 36,000 women, and its activities focus at direct financial aid, rights awareness classes, job-skills training and emotional support.
Friday (June 29): Kigali
Today, your hosts from the Center for Gender, Culture and Development Studies at the Kigali Institute of Education invite you to a major workshop where you can share your knowledge and experiences with your Rwandan colleagues and friends. The workshop will end with a networking cocktail with invited guests.
Saturday/Sunday (June 30/July 1): Akagera NP
This weekend provides a special treat in the form of a two-day excursion to Akagera National Park in the east of the country. 2,500km2 of savannahs, mountains and swamplands offer you the opportunity to spot elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, leopards, baboons, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, various antelope species and over 500 bird species.
Monday (July 2): Kigali
Optional morning activities include opportunities for souvenir shopping. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your personal farewell. OR: Start your post-program gorilla trek extension.