Rwanda’s ministry in charge of emergency management (MINEMA), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Prison Fellowship Rwanda (PFR) and other partners who serve Persons of Concern in Rwanda organized an intercamp competitions with a theme “building sustainable peace through sport inclusiveness” in October this year 2022.
All refugee camps in Rwanda organized sports teams in their respective calibers such as football, volleyball, basketball, handball for people with disabilities, martial arts like Kungfu, taekwondo & karate were all rehearsing and ready to take the awards and prizes for the winning team. I t was interesting to see multitudes of Persons of Concern from different camps in Rwanda meeting at Mahama refugee camps where the final competition was held.
The inter-camp tournament attracted a number of dignitaries and representatives of government institutions and civil society organizations such as the state minister for MINEMA, UNHCR Country representative and other distinguished ladies and gentlemen. Most of these guests are connected to the service of Persons of Concern in their respective duties and responsibilities. They were also very glad to see how Persons of Concern in Rwanda are thriving and resilient regardless of their refugee status of being far from their home land
Photo below is the UNHCR Country Representative: Mrs: Ndèye Aissatou Masseck Ndiaye and MINEMA Permanent Secretary Mr. Habinshuti Philippe
Prison Fellowship Rwanda (PFR) is one of the civil society organizations in Rwanda that have contributed to peacebuilding and conflict management in the awake/aftermath of Rwanda’s genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Being a partner to the Government of Rwanda, PFR intervened in peacebuilding, psychosocial support, human rights & legal aid, spiritual resilience and social economic empowerment through its approaches such as psychosocial healing spaces, the need-based model of reconciliation, apology and forgiveness. PFR is currently is honored to partner with UNHCR in areas of access to territory, registration & documentation, safety & access to justice, community engagement & women empowerment
In his remarks, Bishop Gashagaza Deo the executive director of Prison Fellowship Rwanda, asserted that through sports Persons of Concern not only interact to celebrate their winning teams but also get time share their life experience from different camps that consequently relieve their hearts which brings peace of mind as a result, it is the best time where high level management personalities from various relevant partners directly meet beneficiaries/Persons of Concern to monitor & collect first-hand information such as success stories, lessons learnt, change stories, challenges faced by Persons of Concern and also learning the impact of various partners in their respective sectors of operations in camps.
The tournament concluded in the late evening where hundreds of Persons of Concern were still enjoying & celebrating various winning teams that managed to make it to the final stage whereas the awards & prizes were given to the best teams in the 5 disciplines such as football team, volleyball, basketball, seat ball and Karate were all won by Mahama refugee camps that hosted the tournament.