SEVOTA works to rebuild the human relationships that were destroyed during the genocide in Rwanda. It is focused on widows and orphans, and its activities extend to all districts of the country. It was founded in 1994 in Kamonyi District.
SEVOTA helps its beneficiaries to organise themselves in order to analyse their own problems and those of the community and to find appropriate solutions. It envisions a society where human dignity is valued and where men, women, and children support each other for their personal development. SEVOTA has the mission of contributing to an improvement of the moral, social, political, cultural, and economic living conditions of its beneficiaries. The organisation has the overall objective of promoting activities relating to peace, reconciliation, and the promotion of human rights – specifically women’s rights and the rights of vulnerable children, through the creation of spaces for dialogue and capacity-building.
SEVOTA pursues the following specific objectives:
- To reduce poverty among beneficiaries with the support of their group members through various income-generating and self-promotion activities aimed at improving their social and economic power.
- To mobilise widows and orphans towards a culture of peace, active non-violence, and the prevention and resolution of conflicts.
- To re-instigate the positive values of Rwandan culture based on solidarity, mutual assistance, and quality education for children.
- To improve the care and education of orphans, children born of rape, and other vulnerable children.
- To fight against ignorance and illiteracy.
- To support activities related to environment protection.
- To build capacity and organise activities that encourage personal development and mutual support among traumatised women and victims of violence.
To carry out its mission, SEVOTA has developed the following intervention strategies:
- The organisation and support of groups, clubs and forums.
- Community mobilisation.
- Information, education and communication.
- Participatory research and lobbying.
The target beneficiaries of SEVOTA’s work are widows, female victims of sexual assault, orphans and vulnerable children.
SEVOTA has had a variety of achievements in recent years:
- Creating and following up sixty groups that carry out small projects, made up of 900 widows and 214 parents who have adopted orphans.
- Setting up and organising exchanges between representatives of the groups, clubs and the community.
- Forming ten ‘Hope and Peace’ clubs made up of 600 orphans and vulnerable children.
- Supporting 100 women of violations committed during the genocide through the creation of a Network for Women for Peace in Kamonyi district (URUNANA rw’ abashaka amahoro).
- Caring for and accompanying 100 surviving women of the genocide who have given birth after rape. This is done through setting up forums in various areas of Rwanda called ABIYUBAKA.
- Eliminating illiteracy among adults. 750 couples with children under 3 years old benefited from this literacy project.
- Promoting women’s rights through workshops organised for 900 young people and women focused on socio-economic topics, as well as through meetings focused on sensitising the community for the fight against gender-based violence. This includes the follow-up of their income-generating activities and environmental protection.
- Organising Forums for Equitable Justice (FOJUE) which bring together surviving female victims and witnesses.
- Initiating a ‘Hope and Peace’ programme for vulnerable women and young people.
- Organising activities aimed at advocating for women’s rights and the rights of vulnerable children, especially the women and girls raped during the genocide and children born of rape.
The organisation has developed partnerships with the following organisations and institutions:
- Kanyarwanda Association
- Umuhuza Association
- Rwanda Gender Monitoring Office
- Rwandan Ministry of Gender and Promotion of Women
- Medica Mondial (Germany)
- Global Fund for Women
- Arcs (Italy)
- Projetto-Rwanda (Italy)