The Association of Genocide Widows Agahozo (AVEGA) was created to help reintegrate genocide widows back into Rwandan society following the trauma they faced.
The goals of AVEGA are:
- To promote the general welfare of genocide victims;
- To promote solidarity among members of the association;
- To carry out activities aimed at the amelioration of poor living conditions;
- The commemoration of genocide victims and to fight for justice; and
- To participate in national reconstruction through peacebuilding and reconciliation processes.
To achieve its goals, AVEGA has established four main programmes.
AVEGA has founded 3 health centres. They were originally established for AVEGA members who had just experienced the horrors of the 1994 genocide. Many of them were raped and infected with HIV and others were wounded. In addition, they suffered from trauma owing to the horrific events they witnessed. This programme was put in place to provide treatment in this respect. They now provide support to the general public.
Advocacy and justice
This programme was put in place after finding that widows of the genocide often suffered from various forms of injustice. AVEGA lawyers based in the regional offices in conjunction with paralegals (volunteers who were trained on basic laws) offer assistance to members of the community who have been victims of such injustices.
The goal of this programme is to rebuild the social and economic welfare of widows. This programme encourages members to undertake income generating activities so that they can be self-reliant. AVEGA has 1535 beneficiaries grouped into 152 income generating cooperatives/associations in order to share experience from one another and help them take part in their own development.
AVEGA has put in place its own income generating activities to generate income that would address the needs of the members where donors have not been able to intervene. AVEGA has two guest houses in Eastern Province and Northern Province and another one is under construction in Kigali City.
Organisational reinforcement programme
The programme deals with leadership and capacity building of the members of the organisation itself.