ActionAid is a non-partisan, non-religious development organization that has been working in Rwanda as a full country programme since 1997 to eradicate poverty and injustices with focus on tackling the root causes of poverty rather than just meeting people’s immediate needs.
ActionAid Rwanda has since been an integral part of Rwandan civil society and is engaged in poverty eradication programmes through a rights-based approach in the key strategic priorities evolving around the following themes: Women’s Rights, Education, and Food Rights and Livelihood. Just and Democratic Governance, Human Security and Conflict; and Children rights are other cross-cutting themes.
The organization is primarily concerned with the promotion and defense of economic, social, cultural, civil and political human rights.
Employing staff, the organization supports activities and programmes that promote the interests of poor and the voiceless at all levels. ActionAid Rwanda work and thinking are governed by the perspectives and aspirations of poor and the voiceless.
ActionAid Rwanda has since the early 80s been in partnership with Aide et Action and in 1996 started as a cross boarder initiative managed by ActionAid Uganda dealing mainly repatriation of refugees.
It became a full country programme in 1997, opening its first development area in Nyanza district of Southern province focusing on rehabilitation and construction of houses, schools and provision of clean water. ActionAid Rwanda signed an MOU with Aide et Action in 2001, starting with work in peace building, women’s rights, education and HIV/AIDS.
Over the past 10 years, AAIR has gone through fundamental changes to position itself as a leader and key Actor in promoting and fulfillment of basic rights for poor and vulnerable groups of people in particular women and children.
ActionAid Rwanda was the nerve center of the ActionAid Great Lakes Initiative (GLI), part of a regionalization process - between 2003 and 2005. Following an internationalization process that superseded the regionalization process, the GLI was deconstructed towards the end of 2005.
Over the past years the country program has been involved in setting up management structures, phasing out of Aide et Action programs arising out of an abrupt discontinuation of funding, as well as working towards shifting from pure service delivery to Human Rights-Based programming.