Development Project Management Institute Goes to Rwanda
From the 10th to the 24th of January, the Development Project Management Institute (DPMI) conducted a leadership training in Rwanda. DPMI is run through the Monterey Institute of International Studies and collaborated with Partners in Health to provide this extraordinary opportunity.
In this two week training program, thirty students and professionals from countries ranging from the United States to Germany to Russia to Rwanda, were led by Professor Beryl Levinger in academic and practical work focused on effective, community-oriented management of NGO programming. Rwanda was selected as the site for this training because of the incredible resources it has to offer. During this two-week engagement, participants acquired tools that can be applied to a wide range of scenarios, particularly in the public health sector, and had the opportunity to travel the country to observe these tools in action. They learned relevant skills within the Rwandan context; using the country’s successes in decreasing HIV, malaria and other key diseases to understand the best ways nonprofit organizations can facilitate similar successes through nonprofit work in other countries around the world.
On January 18th, DPMI visited Gakenke District where they met with practitioners at Ruli District Hospital and the Ihangane Project, a US-based nonprofit that operates in the Hospital’s catchment area. DPMI participants were welcomed by Dr. Mutaganzwa Avite who then took them on a comprehensive tour of Hospital facilities. Next, they were given a presentation by Dr. Jean de Dieu Ngirabega, Deputy Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center, on the current state of Rwanda’s public health service provision and the achievements the country has made in public health programs ranging from targeting key HIV populations to providing bed nets for infants and pregnant women throughout the country. After this presentation, participants enjoyed walking around Ruli, speaking with locals in the village Center and observing life in rural Rwanda. They also appreciated being taken to the small shop owned by Ihangane Ruli Cooperative, where they could see and ask questions about traditional Rwandan handicrafts. Of course they purchased a number of beautiful items to take home to their families as a token of their time in Rwanda!
The Ihangane Project took this opportunity to give a presentation on its work in Ruli District Hospital’s catchment area, emphasizing its community-oriented approach service provision through its Nutrition for HIV-exposed Infants Program. The participants were impressed with the organization’s involvement in the Ruli community, and its commitment to supporting local health practitioners to meet health goals established by the Ministry of Health.
It was certainly a day to remember—professional connections were established, best practices were shared, and most importantly, a group of people from around the world collected in a small Rwandan village and learned critical lessons that will inform and improve their work back home.