The Assistance Fund for Genocide Survivors (FARG) has increased the amount of money it used to give to its beneficiaries to improve their welfare, officials have confirmed.
FARG executive secretary Théophile Ruberangeyo explained the assistance had been adjusted from Frw 7,500 to Frw 18,000 per month for all of the 21,039 current FARG recipents. In addition, 147 of them, who are the most vulnerable and live in dire situations, receive henceforth between Frw 30,000 to Frw 100,000 depending on the gravity of their case.
Ruberangeyo said the increase will come into effect at the start of the 2013-14 fiscal year in July.
The executive secretary said the beneficiaries include not only old people but also those with permanent suffering that resulted from the Genocide such as trauma, HIV/AIDS or physical handicaps. He explained that with the passing of time, an increasing number of Genocide survivors has difficulty to look after themselves due to age, so there is a need to increase their allowance.
“I think it will change my life; I will be able to save some money and maybe buy a goat.”
“Genocide survivor shouldn’t be the living below the poverty line. The whole idea behind the increased assistance is to let them earn at least one dollar a day,” Ruberangeyo said.
He explained a validation team composed of people who deal with Genocide survivors started a pilot study to know who is really vulnerable, and identify non-registered vulnerable survivors. The study started in Bugesera but other areas will also be visited. The team includes the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide (CNLG), AVEGA-Agahozo, the army and police as well as local leaders.
FARG beneficiaries have applauded the move. “Honestly, I thank FARG for its incessant support, said Alice Mukashyaka, a 31-year-old from Gicaca cell in Bugesera who is in the Frw 7,500 category. “If it weren’t for them, I could have faced lots of challenges; although the money I currently receive is not enough to meet all my needs, at least it helps.”
According to Mukashyaka, who suffers from debilitating headaches due to being hit on the head with a machete during the Genocide, the increase would be a major improvement. “I think it will change my life; I will be able to save some money and maybe buy a goat that can earn me even more money and give me fertilizers,” she said.
It has to be noted that, in addition to the allowance, FARG also supports Genocide survivors with health insurance, housing and school fees, among others.