Students in the Class of 2015 (Peacebuilding Concentration) were in Rwanda in August 2014, twenty years after the horrific genocide. Particularly significant was the visible transformation which had taken place from a country of devastation to one of the most progressive African countries. Students were able to see the peace process in action as they participated in community dialogue groups in the Rubavu District of western Rwanda. These dialogue groups have been instrumental in attempting to normalize victim and perpetrator relationships in post-genocide Rwanda. In Kigali, students spoke with experts at the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace which promotes the methodology of Participatory Action Research adopted after the genocide. Students also visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, a poignant depiction of events that led to the genocide and a memorial to the more than 500,000 who died. A multitude of international NGOs work in Rwanda, evident at a fair students attended showcasing the work of over 60 organizations. Specific visits were made to see the girls’ empowerment project and headquarters of World Relief.
Future Generations University Alumni
In her research practicum, Kabadege calculates the newborn mortality rates in the Kibogora Hospital Zone in Rwanda, analyzes the causes of newborn mortality, and discusses the best strategies for reducing mortality rates through an analysis of local data. In order to calculate mortality rates and discern the causes of neonatal death, Kabadege used data from a community-based health information system through verbal autopsies with mothers who had experienced a newborn death, in-depth interviews with key informants in the Rwandan health care system, and focus group discussions with local care groups. Inevitably, Kabadege determines that the underlying factors contributing to newborn mortality were a lack of antenatal care and access to a healthcare facility, premature births, complications in delivery, and delay in seeking care of newborns. Suggested strategies to prevent newborn mortality include promoting antenatal care and facility deliveries, improving newborn care, promoting subscription to health insurance plans, and promoting family planning. In addition, adopting strategies used by the Child Survival Program such as community mobilization, targeting community leaders and families, and seeking out community developing committees, could greatly reduce the rate of newborn mortalities.