Christian response to human need : a case study of ministry by Christian NGOs to genocide widows in Kigali-Ville Province-Rwanda.
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The genocide of April 1994 left the Rwandan society completely ruined and the survivors totally disoriented with numerous problems ranging from material deprivation to bodily and psychological injuries. As in other conflicts, especially in Africa, women and children were the most affected by the Rwandan genocide; consequently Rwanda has a sizeable number of widows and orphans. After the genocide, Rwanda witnessed an influx of many non-governmental organizations, which came with the aim to help the Rwandans in general, and genocide survivors in particular, as part of a program to put the Rwandan society back on its feet. Rwanda claims to be overwhelmingly a Christian nation, which theoretically gives the Christian community in Rwanda a prominent hand in all efforts of rebuilding the Rwandan society. This work therefore, is a Case Study, which seeks to investigate the role of Christian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in responding to the needs of genocide widows residing in Kigali-Ville province-Rwanda. The study thus aims to assess efforts of the above-cited Christian NGOs and highlights their success and shortcomings in the light of a Christian model of understanding and responding to human needs. The investigation also surveys the background to the genocide. It focuses on the interpretation of the history of the people of Rwanda, the role impact of the colonial rule and Christian missionaries, and the role of the civil war of early 1990s. The study also investigates the plight of genocide widows from fives angles: economic loss, personal and social relationships, bodily injuries, psychological damage and spiritual welfare. The assessment was carried out through the analysis of the data collected mainly from selected Christian NGOs, genocide widows, churches, and written materials. The paradigm used to critically analyze the response of Christian NGOs has stemmed out of a body of literature that focuses on Christian response to human need, with particular emphasis on the distinctiveness of the Rwandan context. The findings, conclusion, recommendations of this study are of cardinal significance not only to Christian NGOs operating in Kigali-Ville province but also to other groups involved in the ministry to the needy in other parts of Rwanda and beyond her boundaries.
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