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UNICEF grant focuses on wellbeing of Rwanda’s orphans

As Rwanda continues to close its 34 orphanages opened after the 1994 genocide, professors at the Tulane School of Social Work’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy are working to train the country’s social workers to help the affected children.

Thanks to a two-year UNICEF Grant, Tulane professors Laura Haas and Reggie Ferreira will help lead trainings to strengthen the national social service workforce via close collaboration with Rwanda's National Commission for Children.

“We’ll be training the country’s social work force to better work with families and children since Rwanda is doing away with orphanages in the country,” Ferreira, an assistant professor at the Tulane School of Social Work, said. “Over the next two years, we’ll be training several social work force employees in Rwanda to strengthen family relationships.”

This training takes an innovative approach to human capacity development. According to Haas, “The program will emphasize indigenous knowledge and experience, collaborative and experiential learning, learning transfer and measurement, and ensure that Rwanda is equipped to develop and sustain its social service workforce. Through this program, DRLA plans to enhance learning outcomes and job performance, building upon evidence-based practices, and will contribute to the strengthening of the national social work workforce.

“This is very important work,” Ferreira said. “It has the opportunity to affect so many individuals in the country, but the main focus is to increase the well-being of the children and their families. We’re providing the technical expertise to help some of Rwanda’s most vulnerable individuals.”

Published August 18, 2016. Written by Joseph Halm, Tulane PR.