Last Updated: 24/09/2020

Daily, Rwanda has been recording more COVID-19 recoveries than new positive cases since Sept. 14. The country has recorded only 26 related deaths as of Sept. 22. The government is using widespread testing and contact tracers to identify people exposed to active cases. Most businesses, including restaurants, hotels, shops and tourism operations, have reopened. International air travel has resumed, but land borders remain closed. Schools remain closed until further notice. A curfew is in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and large gatherings are banned.

Compassion center workers are communicating with children and caregivers by phone where possible and conducting home visits where it is safe to do so. Small groups have been able to gather to tend to gardens and care for their livestock. Staff members are working within local guidelines to distribute supplies and have been able to deliver 74,964 food packs and 255,953 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have helped 12,547 individuals access medical support. Sponsor gifts to children and families are being delivered as electronic cash transfers. The Compassion Rwanda office is working with local staff to offer counseling support during this difficult season.

A Message From Compassion Rwanda’s National Director

Hear from John Nkubana, National Director of Compassion Rwanda, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Rwanda.

Updated: 20/08/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Rwanda?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Rwanda, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Rwanda are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 74,964 food packs and 255,953 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

Letters are currently being delivered in Rwanda, although delivery to and from your child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue writing your child, as all children need words of hope and encouragement now more than ever before. Thank you for your ministry!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Rwanda. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

While the world was starting to experience the impact of COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions, Immaculee was confined to the hospital in Rwanda, waiting to deliver triplets.

“I was admitted at the hospital on February 19, after the doctors discovered that I was expecting triplets,” says Immaculee. “It was the first time I had gone for a prenatal checkup, thanks to being registered into the Survival Program at a Compassion center.”

On April 4, Immaculee underwent a caesarian section and delivered two boys and one girl. Devastatingly, one of the little boys passed away the next day.

The transportation restrictions meant Immaculee didn't have the constant presence of her husband, Philemon, as support — to be with her, he had to walk 25 miles to the hospital. The family wasn't even able to attend their child's funeral.

“I was stuck in the hospital bed and I could not bury my child and neither could my other family members attend because they couldn’t travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions," says Immaculee.

Compassion's church partner came alongside the family in this difficult time. They helped the family to arrange the burial while supporting Immaculee emotionally, as well as providing food and nutritional support so she could breastfeed. Without the support of the center, Philemon says, they wouldn’t have managed the heartbreaking situation.

“God knew the struggles we would go through. That is why he gave my wife a chance to get registered into the Survival Program,” says Philemon. “Odette, the Compassion health social worker, has stood with us as a family through counseling and prayer, and this has benefited us as a family massively. We are gradually coming to terms with our child’s death thanks to the verses and Scriptures Odette shares with us during her visits."

How can I pray for Rwanda?

Pray for the scientists, doctors and other health professionals in Rwanda as they work to expand COVID-19 testing throughout the country.

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