Historical Background of Haguruka NGO

HAGURUKA is a non governmental organisation according to Rwandan law. HAGURUKA was established on the 16th of July 1991 and agreed by the Ministerial Order n°127/05 on 28th of December 1991. HAGURUKA’s purpose is to defend the rights of women and children.

Haguruka means “stand up” in Kinyarwanda. It purposes is to defend the right of women and children and to contribute the creation of a society where children, women and men’s right are equal and respected. Haguruka has 34 staffs and operates regional centres in each province ( Musanze in Northern Province, Kayonza in eastern Province, Nyanza in Southern Province and Nyamasheke in Western Province) with its headquarter in Kigali. Each principal centre has o conference room, office space and small library, a jurist, a psychosocial counselor and a safe house for women and children, particularly GBV victims.

HAGURUKA has a very rich experience of receiving its beneficiaries at its centers. It has the reputation of receiving referral cases from institutions such as the National Police, the National Prosecution Services, Courts and the Local Government. In the last 24 years the potentiality of the organization encompasses the quality of delivering services to its beneficiaries in a confidential manner. The roadmap to accessing the services offered by HAGURUKA begins with the individual who is received by a counselor in a closed office which guarantees the confidential nature in which the case of a beneficiary is received and recorded. The beneficiary is then received by a lawyer in a similar environment. The two staff members then decide on the way forward for the treatment of the received case.

Haguruka’s main activities and performances are:

- Advocacy, training, legal orientation and legal aid support, psychosocial counseling, mediation, community sensitization and conducting public awareness campaigning on GBV, land issues, and resolving family conflict, etc.

- The organization currently works with 416 paralegals equating to one paralegal in each sector of Rwanda. All the paralegal work on a voluntary basis and have been given legal training. The paralegals help to resolve problems often concerning GBV and Land conflict in collaboration with Haguruka’s lawyers.

- Haguruka’s advocacy effort have influenced several national law reforms, the proposal of new laws and the formulation of policy and program in favor of women and children for the last 24 years.