On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying the Rwandan president was shot down, killing all onboard. This event triggered the beginning of one of the most swift and brutal genocides in world history. In the span of about 100 days, ethnic Hutus killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsi minorities, using mostly machetes and other crude weapons.
The 1994 genocide was the culmination of decades ethnic strife, driven by long-time cultural differences and ethnic divisions created by Belgian colonists. In the aftermath, some two million Hutus fled Rwanda to neighboring countries creating a refugee crisis. Continued conflict with the perpetrators of the genocide has resulted in hundreds of thousands of more deaths, mostly in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Humanity & Inclusion began working in Rwanda shortly after the end of the genocide in 1994. Between 1994 and 1996, HI provided emergency assistance to a population thrown into extreme distress. From 1996 to 2000, the situation in Rwanda was one of relative stability allowing HI to embark on longer-term initiatives, including projects to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people, particularly people living with HIV/AIDS. Since 2001, HI has broadened its activities to include community-based violence prevention, inclusive education, rehabilitation, prevention of sexual violence against children, and care for people living with epilepsy.