Before the “Green Saves Project”

It was 9:00 AM, the beginning of a nice day here on the outskirts of Kigali. There was a scattering of people sitting amongst the shell of an abandoned school, children wandering there, and the fumes of women cooking fills the open air. This is Bweramvura Refugee Camp.

Children wondering outside.

The refugee camp is located in Bweramvura cell, Jabana Sector, Gasabo district in Kigali city and it was occupied by vulnerable Rwandan refugees who fled from Tanzania.  It was made up of 48 families, and around 168 people in total.

Primary school has  become their shelter. Each classroom houses from 3 to 5  families. 

In July 2014, the Tanzanian government gave a direct order that any Rwandans living in Tanzanian without a visa should leave the country within 14 days. Many were born and raised there; they have no connection to Rwanda. Their parents or grandparents fled Rwanda during the 1959 and 1962 conflicts. Despite having spent more than 35 years in Tanzania, they were forced out of the country.

Many of them returned to Rwanda with nothing at all, leaving behind their land, their cattle, and their Tanzanian husbands or wives. They were vulnerable and lived on the aid provided by the Rwandan government. This wasn’t enough to fulfill basic needs. As a result, these refugees did not have the opportunities required to start their new lives.

Everyday activities were all done outside the common houses.

The Green Saves Project is a project that was operated in the Refugee camp called Bweramvura since March, 2015 for 10 weeks. It was funded by International Citizen Services(ICS) and Tearfund.

More about the Green Saves Project is available here.

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