Oxfam, a British based organization focusing on poverty alleviation has announced closing its operations in Rwanda after four decades of great contribution to Rwandans’ social welfare.
During the celebration of 40 years anniversary in Rwanda on February 19, representatives elaborated on Oxfam legacy in Rwanda, and announced gradual closure of its activities.
They said that, for the last four decades, Oxfam programs in Rwanda endeavored to “ensuring that poor women, men and youth enjoy equal rights and benefit from fair and inclusive development”.
They said that the organisation’s programmatic aim has been to ensure that targeted poorest and most vulnerable women, men, boys and girls directly benefit from development and can influence decisions which affect their own lives.
“We have seen very much while working in Rwanda, we feel that this is the good time for us to transition out of Rwanda. We see Rwanda influencing so many things in the region,” Parvin Ngala, Regional Director of Oxfam said.
“We are not leaving or abandoning Rwanda, but passing the button to the local government. We are closing offices in Rwanda; we shall only have a small office to remain who will be finishing some of the contracts we have with our donor partners. This small office will run up to 2025.”
According to Oxfam, in May 2020 the Executive Board (EB) approved Oxfam’s 10‐year Global Strategic Framework. One of the major decisions was to phase out Oxfam activities in 11 countries including Rwanda.
Last week, Oxfam reflected on its achievements, lessons learnt and challenges that emerged from its programs in the past four decades.
For example, from 2018 to 2021 only, 34,998 farmers were trained on modern farming, 684 small scale businesses were created for vulnerable people, and 852 people were linked with financial institutions.
Some other achievements include 1,127 farmers who were supported on buying seeds, and 315 farmers certified on organic pineapple farming, to mention quite a few.
The celebrations also aimed at presenting remaining programs that will keep going until final closure in 2025.
Oxfam representatives said that all was not necessarily perfect in the last 40 years in Rwanda. Encountered challenges that were mentioned include social norms and beliefs that lead to discrimination, power relation and culture of violence, non-recognized fathers of children born to teen mothers, unsafe abortion, school dropout among others.
Rwandan officials at the event shared country’s acknowledgement message.
“Oxfam has been an esteemed government partner and its legacy remains forever in good governance lessons,” Prosper Mulindwa, Director General of Government Planning Monitoring and Evaluationsaid.