Disability is not Inability

Ubumwe Community Center Background

Through various skills and basic education, people with various disabilities at the Ubumwe Community Center (UCC) learn self-reliance and gain self-esteem. The Center assists over 900 people of both genders with a disability every year. Our successful programs have resulted in these numbers increasing every year. The UCC has the capacity to serve 256 individuals with disabilities each day. As the demand is still high, we conduct other programs, like home visits, to assist people in their homes, but we aren’t able to reach everyone.

In addition to the 900 people with disabilities, an additional 400 children without disabilities are enrolled at our inclusive school where they all study together in the same classes. The UCC uses this inclusive education method as a tool to integrate people with a disability into society (at both school and in the community). The Center has also expanded to serve members of the non-disabled community through both computer and literacy classes.

In addition to basic education, the Center provides different skills training and health services to vulnerable youth and adults with disability. This enables them to become more independent and to economically participate in the national development. Since 2009, the UCC has graduated over 600 people with disabilities and 80% of them are now totally self-reliant.

Wildlife conservation is taught in cooperation with the Columbus Zoo. The Center is close to Rwanda’s remaining wild mountain gorillas. Classes at the UCC emphasize the importance of protecting both the gorillas and their habitat.

The Center survives on the generosity of individual donors and the income derived from the sales of its handicrafts. The goal, in time, is to become self-sustaining. Recent support to the UCC has led to the construction of a pre-school and a primary school that also provide inclusive education for both disabled and non-disabled students.