The One Dollar Hostel, new home to 192 vulnerable, genocide orphans, was inaugurated this week by Francis Kaboneka, Local Government Minister, after a four-year construction phase. The brainchild of Rwandan diaspora, AERG (student survivors) and GAERG (former student survivors), has welcomed its first intake of 96 young women and 96 young men.
AERG and Survivors Fund (SURF), who work in tandem to provide training for jobs, internships and business starts ups, through the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YETP), plan on extending coverage to the One Dollar Hostel and its new residents, with a class to take place there in the coming year.
The hostel is situated in Kigali’s Gasabo district. The purpose-built four storey-high building will provide for rooms, meetings and study areas and has an adjacent refectory and kitchen. The One Dollar Campaign, initiated by Rwandan diaspora, saw incredible public support for the final Rwf1.7 billion hostel. FARG, the Government fund for genocide survivors, has also provided significant assistance, to cover food costs, furniture and fund a permanent staff of three.
Francis Kaboneka said; “We are glad for the support provided by the One Dollar Campaign, Unity Club and other stakeholders who had a vision for this cause and now it has turned into reality. This is an incredible home grown solution to a problem that the nation faced and is just the first phase of several projects.” adding a further pledge for continuous care for the boys and girls who will live in the hostel. “I beg all the boys and girls here today to stand united, protect your country and commit to ‘never again’ to genocide.
Augustine Kampayana, chairperson of the executive committee of the One Dollar Campaign, said that this is the first phase of the project. The second phase constitutes the construction of a commercial structure, entertainment centre and sports facility in the vicinity. Residents will receive further support in skills development and cultural programmes provided for by a range of stakeholders.