Arif Zaman from Bloomsbury Radio met with Lyse Paulis Mukiza, President of Soroptimist International (SI) Club Ruhango in Rwanda during the Commonwealth Local Government Conference in Kigali, Rwanda on 14-17 November 2023. Both Arif and Lyse attended a session on Gender equality for resilient local communities.
Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement where women work together to transform the lives of other women and girls. Its network of around 66,000 club members in 120 countries works at a local, national, and international level to Educate, Empower and Enable opportunities for women and girls.
In Rwanda, the first club started in 1992 and stopped because of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. It resumed in 1996 and now has 9 clubs. Soroptimists established two Primary schools and six vocational training centres. The vocational training centres are used to teach single and vulnerable mothers different marketable skills to support themselves and their families.
Each Club undertakes two or more projects per year and supports women in their respective area. The highlights of the 2023 activities by different clubs are Financial Support to women displaced by floods that will help them to restart their businesses in Rwanda’s Western Province. Women were taught culinary skills and how to fight malnutrition using food locally available in Western Province. In Southern Province, healthcare providers went into the community to meet mothers with handicapped kids and completed the first contact and orientation for further medical care. The last project is a joint initiative between Soroptimist International and the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network (CBWN) called” Vision and Vocal”. This project aims to encourage young girls aged 10 to 11 years old to become comfortable talking about global issues and to be part of the solution finders.
Arif met with Lyse Paulis Mukiza, President of Soroptimist International (SI) Club Ruhango in Rwanda during the Commonwealth Local Government Conference