Astarte in Rwanda
Rwandan Women Community Development Network (now called Rwandan Women's Network or RWN) focuses on empowering Rwandan women and families through training and income-generating project, legal counseling, shelter construction and the provision of reproductive health services and counseling to returnees.
In the early to mid-1990s, Rwanda went through a civil war and genocide that left many people displaced. As women and communities returned to Rwanda, they had to rebuild a society that had suffered a lot of trauma and violence. During this transition process, access to reproductive health services was critical in rebuilding Rwanda, especially since women took a strong role in political participation.
The RWN's Reproductive Health Education project was funded for one year, beginning in October 2000. The project involved a reproductive health education programming that target over 500 women and provided family planning services, increased HIV/AIDS awareness. The project also focused on support for those living with HIV/AIDS and survivors of gender-based violence.
After the Grant:
The RWN continues to operate the Polyclinic of Hope, providing reproductive health services such as family planning, as well as HIV/AIDS counseling. The Polyclinic of Hope has observed that women are more open to talking about reproductive health problems and are more likely to seek advice.