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 as 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. Its purpose is to defend the rights of women and children and to contribute the creation of a society where the rights of children, women and men are equal and respected. Haguruka has 34 staff 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 headquarters in Kigali. Each principal centre has a conference room, office space, a small library, a jurist, a psychosocial counselor and a safe house for women and children, particularly GBV victims.

Haguruka has a rich experience of receiving beneficiaries at its centers. It receives referral cases from institutions such as the National Police, the National Prosecution Services, Courts and the Local Government. Over the last 24 years, the organisation has succeeded by providing excellent, confidential services to its beneficiaries. The roadmap to accessing the services offered by Haguruka begins with the individual being received by a counselor in a closed office, which guarantees confidentiality. The beneficiary is then received by a lawyer in a similar environment. The two staff members then decide on the way forward for the received case.

Haguruka’s main activities are:

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

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

- Haguruka’s advocacy efforts have influenced several national law reforms, the proposal of new laws and the formulation of policies in favor of women and children over the last 24 years.