UNIVERSITY OF RWANDA VOLUNTEERS OF NSINDAGIZA ORGANIZATION WORKSHOP REPORT
CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH HUYE CAMPUS
NSINDAGIZA Organization in collaboration with Center for Mental Health, organized the workshop held on 1st May 2017 in Huye at the Center for Mental Health. The workshop was attended by 21 participants (14 Males and 7 Females). .
I. OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP
III. WELCOME REMARKS
In his opening remarks Mr. HABARUGIRA Augustin, representing the Center for Mental Health, on behalf of the center, applauded NSINDAGIZA organization and its volunteers who participated in the workshop for raising their voices and joining their hands in promoting the rights and welfare of the elderly persons in Rwanda and beyond. He ensured the collaboration and full support of the center to the organization.
IV. TOPICS DISCUSSED
I. Elderly overview
In his presentation, Mr. Fulgence MUNYAMPETA, one of the UR students in clinical psychology and intern in Center for Mental Health, showed clearly the statistics of elderly situation globally and in Rwanda.
According to his presentation, in 2050 the older person will be triple to about 1.5 billion representing 16 percent of the world population (WHO, 2012).
In Rwanda, according to the RPHC4, there are 511,738 elderly persons (60 and above) living in Rwanda out of a total population of 10,515,973 inhabitants. The elderly thus represent 4.9% of the total resident population.
Data from the four Rwandan censuses indicate that the proportion of old people first increased from 4.8% in 1978 to 5% in 1991 dropped again slightly to 4.3% in 2002 and has only minimally increased to 4.9% in 2012.
Therefore, He concluded by saying that the increase in the number of old people requires the programs and measures of assisting them in their long journey in old age.
II. Organization and its mission
Elie MUGABOWISHEMA, the Founder and President of NSINDAGIZA Organization, explained the mission and vision of the organization.
He said that after observing the problems and challenges older persons face (loneliness, Chronicle illnesses including NCDs and, HIV/AIDS, poverty, psychological problems,) he met with other few people to discuss what to do with older persons. The first General Assembly, held on 20th July 2014, initiated the Organization named “NSINDAGIZA” in Kigali Sector, NYARUGENGE District with 31 members and the committee of 7 members was put in place, with an objective of Promoting the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable older persons in Rwanda. Elie emphasized clearly the role and responsibilities, the qualities and the benefits for the volunteer and shared the power point presentation containing all related information. He concluded by calling upon the volunteers to join hands for the advocacy of elderly persons in Rwanda and beyond, and invest their time, talents and treasures in the promotion of elderly persons through sensitization of the community and capacity building of elderly persons.
Gisele BANKUNDIYE, one of board members on her side, emphasized the terms volunteering (Gukorera ubushake) and to be committed (Gukorana ubushake) and the benefits of both. From different views from the participants, volunteering is to work without any material compensation whereas to be committed refers to work with willingness, strength and courage. Although there is no tangible compensation, there is internal motivation from working with the older persons because it is always helpful to realize the results of your effort. She shared her experience working as a volunteer from 2014, including fundraising for the activities related to the promotion of the rights and welfare of elderly persons, and she concluded by saying that it is not a shame nor a loss to invest in the improvement of the lives of the elderly.
Mr.KABALISA Arsene, Executive Secretary of Ngoma Sector in his welcome remarks.
IV. Working in groups
Felicien MULINDA, the President of NSINDAGIZA in Huye district, shared his experience of how after he met with Elie, he came and started to mobilize some key people in Huye and formed a local committee which is not fully functional as he immediately got an accident and was not able to sustain the team. Fortunately, he had at that time shared the idea with some older women in Ngoma Sector, who started a support group which is fully functional. He expressed his joy at seeing the commitment of the support group members and how the group is growing up, with the support of local leaders including the Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs.
After his speech, Mr Felicien handed over to Zaïnabu MUKARURINDA, the President of the support group- who shared her experience on how to be together as the old people changed their lives. They are 26 members (old women) who meet every Thursday to share their feelings and the effects of aging. In order to be able to help each other by solving some financial issues, they decided to contribute 200frw/week for gathering their capacity and self-sustainability. They opened a bank account in SACCO and they use the money to help whichever member could meet a problem. She concluded by saying that this group helped them overcome the loneliness, anxiety of their future lives, depression and some other social problems.
V. WORKSHOP OUTCOME
From the different opinions of greatly pleasured participants, they thanked the leadership of NSINDAGIZA Organization for thinking about them and helping them to understand how elderly persons could be assisted in their long aging journey and how they could be assisted to overcome the problems and challenges they face in their daily lives.
Pre-test and Post-test
Prior to the workshop, the participants did a test to evaluate their level of understanding the concept of aging in the beginning and did the same test at the end to evaluate the outputs of the workshop.
Therefore, in comparison to both tests, there was a big difference between the initial and end results. The participants increased knowledge on who is elderly, their challenges, how they should be assisted and how they could be involved in that process, they discovered the international, regional and national materials, they discovered the gap existing in Rwanda and also understood how the elderly person should be assisted in and the areas they need the assistance and support. (Biologically, psychologically and socially).
The question that had the same result in both tests is what asked whether there are documents they know about old people. All of them answered that there are no written documents about old people they knew.
2. Topic discussed outcome
The participants courageously agreed to be the volunteers, sustain the group, to be the agents of change in society by organizing the community awareness campaigns to improve the lives of elderly persons and advocate for them. As university students, they decided to use different measures in advocacy including:
- Educating the community on how to sustain the lives of elderly persons in their neighborhoods,
- Formalizing the UR students NSINDAGIZA club in Huye campus and creating others in other campuses as well as in neighboring high schools,
- Using ICT and social media to widely spread the advocating messages for the rights and welfare of elderly persons,
- Conducting researches on the situation of elderly persons in Rwanda and encouraging the graduates to consider elderly situations in their dissertations,
- Supporting their respective communities to create elderly support groups and youth NSINDAGIZA youth clubs,
- To be involved in the organization of key social events in Huye, such as; the International Day of Older Persons on October 1st, HIV and AIDS on December 1st, health campaign in the first week of April and campaign on rights on June 15th.
- Keep supporting the existing elderly support group in Huye and create other in Ngoma Sector.
3. UR NSINDAGIZA Group Committee
The participants committed to join hands in advocating and raising awareness through different actions, and decided to elect their committee as follow:
NTWALI léo Charté
KANEZA Mariam Nadia
Felicien IZATURWANAHO, president of clinical psychology students Association of Rwanda in his speech thanked the organization and committed to keep supporting the team and providing any support in his competencies.
Finally, the President of the organization, Elie MUGABOWISHEMA, thanked the participants for their opinions, ideas, commitment and promised them his full support and collaboration in all activities promoting the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable elderly persons in Rwanda.