Social work practice in Rwanda

The challenge of adapting Western models to fit local contexts

Authored by: Charles Kalinganire , So’Nia L. Gilkey , Laura J. Haas

The Handbook of Social Work and Social Development in Africa

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472468512
eBook ISBN: 9781315557359
Adobe ISBN: 9781317029380


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Rwanda demonstrated a strong commitment to building social cohesion through national policy and program development as post-genocide humanitarian assistance gave way to sustainable development. Over the past two decades, international development partners, working alongside local and national nongovernment organisations (NGOs), have played a key role in rebuilding the country. Social work emerged as part of this humanitarian relief program in the mid-1990s. Since then, it has positioned itself within the developing social welfare institutions addressing social problems, including child welfare, poverty, gender issues, and the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Key to social work’s development has been the partnerships between North American universities in the United States and Canada and three major higher education institutions in Rwanda offering social work education, including the University of Rwanda (formerly the National University of Rwanda (NUR)), Catholic University of Rwanda (CUR), and Byumba Polytechnic Institute.

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