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Caritas Rwanda

Caritas Rwanda was established in 1960 by two bishops in Rwanda, Msgr André Perraudin of the archdiocese of Kabgayi and Msgr Aloys Bigirumwami of the diocese of Nyundo. Caritas Rwanda was officially authorised as a non-profit association by Ministerial Decree no. 499/08 of 1962. Over the years, as the Catholic Church of Rwanda expanded with the foundation of new dioceses and parishes, the organisation of Caritas also extended to different levels of the ecclesial structure. Today, Caritas Rwanda operates at national level, while each of the country’s nine dioceses has its own autonomous diocesan Caritas and the 168 parishes their own parochial Caritas, and the 855 centres and 60,000 basic ecclesial communities also have their own Caritas. Since 8 September 1965 Caritas Rwanda has been affiliated with Caritas Internationalis.


  • Study problems regarding assistance and material, social and moral mutual aid relating to the regions where Caritas carries out its activities in order to find solutions;
  • Organise, foster, direct and support all charitable actions in the service of the poor and all categories of vulnerable people;
  • Help people and families that are particularly afflicted, without discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or sex;
  • Represent and safeguard the organisation’s interests, actions and services in dealings with public authorities and official institutions.

Caritas Rwanda wants to give people back the human dignity denied to them by social marginalisation, poverty and injustice. It would like to see the poorest social categories manage to take charge of themselves, individually or through social solidarity, in order to fulfil their dignity as children of God created in his image.

Caritas Rwanda has been mandated by the Rwandan Bishops’ Conference to coordinate all the actions carried out by the Church regarding social assistance, healthcare and development. However, as a priority the activities of Caritas should be carried out by Catholic faithful at the basic ecclesial community level. Only if these communities are unable to resolve identified problems should the higher levels of Caritas be called on to act. The national Caritas network is active and operational even in the most remote parts of Rwanda via its approximately 390,000 volunteers.

At local level, the Rwandan government is Caritas Rwanda’s main partner via the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government.

At international level, Caritas Rwanda’s partners include the Global Fund, USAID, the European Union, the Belgian Fund for Food Security and the International Center for Soil Fertility and Agriculture Development (IFDC).

Caritas network partners: Caritas England and Wales (CAFOD), Caritas Australia, Caritas Japan, Caritas International Belgium, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Caritas Spain, Caritas Germany and Caritas Austria.

Caritas Updates from Rwanda

  • Life improves for Burundian refugees in Rwanda

Life improves for Burundian refugees in Rwanda

  • 24 April 2017
Since May 2015, Caritas has been helping the most vulnerable. They number more than 7,000 people, including the sick, the mentally and physically disabled, single mothers, women alone, nursing women, children, the elderly and refugees who have been traumatised. No way can they be abandoned!
  • One Caritas family in Mahama Refugee Camp, Rwanda

One Caritas family in Mahama Refugee Camp, Rwanda

  • 23 June 2016
Caritas responds to the needs clearly expressed by the beneficiaries themselves. In the tent at the Mahama Refugee Camp, a “family reunion” is underway to exchange ideas on the project, their satisfaction, their needs, questions and ideas.
  • Growing crisis in Burundi and region

Growing crisis in Burundi and region

  • 25 May 2016
Concern is growing as refugees continue to arrive in Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the violence in Burundi itself, provoked by a political crisis, is not abating.