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Projects in Rwanda


In Rwanda today disability still often brings shame and stigma.  It is common for families to be ostracised by the community or even abused. 57% of the population are living below the poverty line and medical care is limited especially in remote rural areas. With thousands of children and young adults across Rwanda either living in institutional care or accessing day centres there is an extraordinary need to equip care staff with the skills that will allow them to address their needs.

Since 2011 the Rwandan government has, in partnership with Hope and Homes for Children, been developing a national family based care system for orphaned and vulnerable children. They aim to close down all 33 existing orphanages. 


In 2010 we delivered training in two residential centres for children and young adults with disabilities in the Rusizi district. We trained Local Staff to introduce therapeutic music programmes into both centres and we have supported them ever since as they have required morale support, professional guidance and additional training. These staff are now confident in their work and have become trainers in order to share their skills with others locally through an exchange project piloted in 2015:  6 local staff from across the country visited our Local partners in Rusizi to be skilled and equipped to set up music programmes in their different care settings for people with disabilities. 

In addition, we took another introductory training project to local care staff, teachers and social workers working at the Noel de Nyundo Orphanage and the Ubumwe Community Centre in Gisenyi, near Rwanda’s border with the Congo in 2014. Volunteers returned in 2015 to offer further training and support. Local Partners in Gisenyi have now been running their music programme for over a year. Since a follow up visit in 2015 a house for therapy and rehabilitation has been opened opposite the Ubumwe Community Centre with a room dedicated to music therapy that can be used by our Local Partners.

To date our projects in Rwanda have seen 33 staff skilled and equipped to run music sessions themselves in 10 care settings. 70 children and adults participated in music sessions during the projects themselves and 1235 children and adults could subsequently benefit as the local staff develop their music programmes.

A further 57 staff from 32 centres for disability across Rwanda attended a National Conference in 2015. The conference gave them a theoretical and practical introduction to how Music as Therapy could be used in their centres. 


This year we will be building local capacity through the following activities:


We will be eliciting reports and feedback from the staff in Gisneyi to help us plan how to best support their music programme this year and in the future. We hope that more experienced music practitioners from Cyangugu will be able to visit them and offer further support and training.


We will visit the 6 participants in the exchange programme piloted in 2015, to evaluate the project and help the participants with the inevitable challenges they may have encountered since starting their music programmes.  Subject to evaluation proving effectiveness of Exchange Project, we plan to repeat this project.

Training for Trainers                                                                                                               

As part of this trip volunteers will travel to Cyangugu to offer further training and support to Local Partners who delivered the training for exchange participants.

Sharing good practice                                                                                                          

We have also been asked us to provide a summary of the evidence base for music therapy and to help local efforts to secure strategic support at a national level in Rwanda, for music therapy in the care of people with disabilities.


We will meet with Hope and Homes for Children to discuss the potential for one of their community hubs being involved a future exchange project (this may also include visiting a community hub local to Kigali but this is TBC).


Strengthened practice of 23 Local Care Staff.

6 care staff will be trained to use music with Children and Adults with Disabilities. 

70 Children and Young Adults will participate in music sessions within our projects.

1235 Children and Young Adults with Disabilities could benefit from music sessions as staff transfer their skills across their care settings.