Twizerimana (18 years, male) is smiling and walking with other patients at the Gahini hospital, in Rwanda, after receiving surgery on his right knee.
  • 1.7m People with disability [1]
  • 29,500 People who are blind [2]
  • 39% People live in poverty [3]

Rwanda is a small landlocked country in east-central Africa that is striving to rebuild its economy after the ethnic strife of the mid-1990s. Tea and coffee are among its main exports.

In the UN’s Human Development Index, Rwanda is ranked at 163 out of a total 188 countries. Life expectancy is 54 years for men, 57 years for women.

The country has struggled with its legacy of ethnic tension associated with the traditionally unequal relationship between the Tutsi minority and the majority Hutus. In 1994, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in the government-sponsored genocide.

CBM has been working with partners in Rwanda since 1992, preventing blindness, improving health and helping people with disabilities go to school, earn a living, access health care/rehabilitation and secure respect in their communities. In 2016, CBM sponsored the Rwandan women’s sitting-volleyball team, who became the first African side to compete in the Paralympic games in this event.

  • [1] 15% of population – WHO estimate that 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability.
  • [2] IAPB, Vision Atlas.
  • [3] World Bank.

In action

Group photo of a Village Savings and Loan Association holding up their membership books

Helping people with disabilities in Rwanda to be financially independent

Supporting people with disabilities to earn a living through training, support and village savings groups.

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Transforming lives

Jeanne has turned her life around with help from a CBM programme in Rwanda.


“Now, people call me a person with a disability, not someone who is nothing. Now, the future is better.”

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A woman from Rwanda is bending down to sweep in front of her house.
14th Sep 2023

CBM UK is part of winning bid to advise Scottish Government's Climate Just Communities programme in Rwanda and Zambia

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Village Savings and Loans Association group meeting in Rwanda.
7th Apr 2021

Stories from Village Savings and Loans groups in Rwanda

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