Solace Ministries Rwanda is a Rwandan, Christian, non-political and non-profit organisation dedicated to meeting the needs of widows and orphans of the 1994 genocide.
Solace was formed in 1995 by Jean Gakwandi, a survivor of the genocide whose felt compelled by his Christian faith to serve others. The organisation mainly invests in helping beneficiaries to heal psychological and emotional wounds. Solace is committed to a holistic process involving community development, medical care, education, and employment creation.
Organised into six Solace communities throughout Rwanda, ranging in size from fifty members to several hundred, the goal of Solace Ministries is to become an alternate family for survivors, restoring their dignity and creating networks of support for individuals who may be traumatised, lonely, or poor, providing them hope as they confront an uncertain future.
Solace implement a number of programs, which include:
- Trauma counselling.
- Helping orphans to become self-sufficient through education, mentoring, and advocacy.
- Community development projects that assist individuals with employment, housing, and food self-sufficiency. These include demonstration farms for Solace communities, handicraft projects, and the gift of cows, goats, and rabbits to individual survivors.
- Health clinics and related programs that serve widows with medical issues related to HIV/AIDS and other health needs of orphans and windows.
- Leadership and spiritual development for genocide survivors, as well as skill-building related to agriculture, employment, and family life.