Our Story


In 1991, ethnic tensions were flaring in Rwanda and this fuelled sociopolitical upheavals across the country. The multiparty political system had just been given authority that increased the existing political chaos. The RPA launched its liberation struggle, which gave a glimmer of hope, but the larger social, ethnic, economic and political dysfunctions had already negatively affected the family unit and were hardly felt by women and children. This is when Haguruka was born. At a time when women and children were facing social injustices all over the country there was a need to โ€˜stand upโ€™, which is the meaning of Haguruka in Kinyarwanda.

Creation Phase (1991-1994):

In 1991, Haguruka registered as a non-governmental organization under Rwandan law, with a head office in Kigali. The founders wanted to change the situation for women and children who were struggling in a then poorly governed country. They envisioned an organization that could contribute to social cohesion through close collaborations with the government and others. The goal was to have men inclusive, because the responsibility of defending the rights of women and children falls in the hands of all citizens.

Rebuilding Phase (1995-2001):

After the 1994 genocide, Haguruka played a crucial role in rebuilding Rwanda. Addressing social injustices and patriarchal systems, the organization engaged in advocacy, mediation, and interventions for women and children. Priority areas included education support, psychosocial aid, and rehabilitation, contributing to post-genocide advocacy for women and girls.

Resilience Phase (2001-2021):

By 2001, there were a number of agencies that helped women, but women empowerment with a legal perspective was something new brought by Haguruka. We wanted to represent women who could not afford legal assistance. Haguruka also had an impact on legal reforms and women empowerment laws contributing to adjustments in discriminatory, citizenship and family law.

Sustainability phase 2021- present:

In the Sustainability Phase from 2021 to the present, Haguruka implementing innovative approaches that encourage the active involvement of rights holders, fostering a sense of ownership of our interventions. The establishment of a robust shelter policy is a priority, with a focus on augmenting shelter capacity at the community level to support victims. Complementing these efforts, Haguruka places a significant emphasis on documenting success stories, utilizing them as a pivotal strategy to influence and guide future organizational and stakeholder actions.