rYico was established in 2004 by our Founder and Managing Director Vivenie Mugunga. Vivenie is originally from Rwanda and saw the youth problems Rwanda had and the lack of support available for those in need, she decided to do something about it.
There are three parts to the work that we do: we partner with and help fund Centre Marembo in Rwanda, and along with that, African Sewing Club. And we educate within the UK.
Centre Marembo, meaning ‘a welcoming meeting place’ is our hub in Kigali. It provides help to women who have been neglected or abused. Our holistic approach provides these young women with safety, recovery and ultimately sustainable independence. Our focus is on women because, as mothers and future mothers, they are the linch-pin to breaking the cycle of poverty for all young people. We partner with other organisations to help any orphaned boys who seek our help, but for the women who come to us, we offer:
In the immediate term:
- Safe housing
- Emergency medical and legal support
- Counselling (including a 24/7 helpline)
In the medium term:
In the longer term:
- Ongoing medical insurance while needed
- A drop-in service for continued counselling
Family Planning and Sex Education to the wider community to avoid unplanned pregnancies and the spread of HIV.
Our work in the UK is focussed on helping the public to have a better social and cultural understanding of Rwanda, how the genocide came about and the social issues that have been left in its wake. This work also helps the Rwandan community in the UK heal from their experiences as their contributions can help prevent similar global atrocities in the future.