One thing has remained constant since MKUR Rwanda’s birth: growth. Importantly, the campus has not been growing in isolation but with the communities around it.
After being warmly welcomed by the Government and the people of Rwanda, MKUR vowed to support the local communities. Students such as Patrice Baraka and Gerard Gatete treasure the support that MKUR has been extending to the people of Rwanda for many years. Patrice, who was at the campus as a student and as an employee after graduation, witnessed first-hand MKUR participating in several initiatives to improve the lives of communities in Rwanda. Indeed, he took part in some of those initiatives.
In addition to participating in the Umuganda programme – the monthly cleaning of neighbourhoods – the campus is also involved in Girinka, the Rwandan practice of donating cows to the less fortunate members of society.
On June 16, 2016, MKURR donated three cows to the less privileged in line with the government’s programme of one-cow-per family (Girinka), initiated by His Excellency President Paul Kagame to help alleviate poverty among the less fortunate in rural areas.
The donations took place at MKURR grounds in Kagarama. It was presided over by the Mayor of Kicukiro District, Dr Nyirahabimana Jeanne, as the chief guest. Other local leaders attended too.
Speaking during the ceremony, MKURR Vice-Chancellor designate, Prof Edwin Odhuno said: “Since opening a campus in Rwanda in 2010, the university has been giving back to the public. Our corporate social responsibility is centred on education, employee and student volunteerism, and providing support to build healthy communities. A small act of compassion can change lives for development, and we shall continue pursuing our strategic core goal of corporate social responsibility with the district and the country at large.”
Mayor Nyirahabimana applauded the university for contributing to the economic growth of Kicukiro district and the country through its world class teaching and global dynamism.
MKUR Rwanda continues to support families affected by the 1994 genocide. It does so in every annual commemoration of the tragedy. During a genocide anniversary, the university donated food and other items to 20 families in Nyakabanda sector and started building a new house for a widow identified by the sector local authorities as requiring such support.
Further, MKURR contributes to Agaciro, a fund that supports government development initiatives.
As a further example of support to communities, on 30 July 2016, MKUR Rwanda officials handed over a house they built for a blind widow who had survived the 1994 genocide. Dr John Nyiligira, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Administration, Planning and Institutional Advancement (DVC-APIA), led the team in presenting the gift to the widow, her daughter and a grandchild.
Dr Nyiligira handed over the keys of the finished house to the executive of Nyakabanda Sector in the presence of the Rwanda patriotic Front (RPF) Nyakabanda representative, the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) representative, and the advisor of Nyakabanda Sector. Also present were other people from two Midugudu (villages).
Dr Nyiligira said helping the needy was one of the university’s pillars (community service), and that the university would continue contributing to the Government of Rwanda and RPF programmes of developing the country and the people.
The university has also awarded scholarships to genocide survivors and will continue donating cows to needy families as identified by the local authorities.