Iwawa: Fourteenth intake; 93 HIV positives, 203 with STDs, others with TB


As the fourteenth intake at Iwawa started on September 13th, Aime Bosenibamwe, the director wish all Rwandans involvement in caring Iwawa laureats. The new intake of 3.885 men,  93 of them are HIV/AIDS positive with, 203 with STDs (Sexual Transmission Diseases) while a great number of them are in Gisenyi hospital for different diseases caused by drug abuse and alcohol.

But there is a hope, according to Bosenibamwe: “Saul changed into Paul” (The Bible says) and we do not have to let our youth misbehave, taken as public dangers”.

A new center of the kind will be built in Nyamagabe district, so as to help the youth in changing their behavior together with technical skills.

The director of Rwanda’s drug rehab & skills centre of Iwawa, Aimé Bosenibamwe, advises all Rwandans and other public institutions to help the trainees from iwawa in their social reintegration to avoid drug abuse. “ youth from Iwawa change mind but miss the social reintegration, so reuse drugs.

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This centre was created to struggle against thieves street men, wanderers, and drug  users.

Bosenibamwe aime adds “most of the youth from Iwawa go back in their families and after they miss the social reintegration and return in the town. The police catch them and bring back to Iwawa centre. In fact it is like a circle way and some of them have reached Iwawa more than twice”.

He also adds we have to help our youth to recover themselves so as to avoid future bandits in our country. We need every Rwandan to contribute actively for social wellbeing of the Rwandan youth.”

What we are experiencing from IWAWA; People talk

According to Fred Barafinda Sekikubo, former aspirant presidential candidate, “It’s better to prevent the cause than healing the winds. It is by uprooting the problems that cause them to be in streets by finding a good solution to those problems. We use many efforts but the results are vain”.

“At the end of the training, they awarded certificates together with equipment materials, but still they are homeless and they sold them. They do not have foster families, which is even the cause of delinquency. Finding them a home or a hostel would be the best way to face the challenge. ”

Rwanda’s drug rehab & skills centre of Iwawa is surrounded by glittering waters, Rwanda’s remote Iwawa island appears idyllic, but it has housed thousands of drug users, as well as reputedly those the government deems unsuitable for society. Iwawa is a vocational training centre and it has not only taught the youth life changing skills but also helped them get off drugs. In May 2011 Iwawa’s Rehabilitation and Vocational Development Centre held its first graduation ceremony.

The youth here say that it is improper for one to call Iwawa’s Rehabilitation and Vocational Development Centre a confinement centre while it is rehabilitating the Rwandan youth and also helping them become productive members of society. This is emphasised by the Rwandan government which insists that it is a drug detox and rehabilitation centre, not a detention island or prison.

From the beginning in 2011, this centre has awarded 12,127 youth with technical certificates in different disciplines, but some fail reintegration and are taken back there twice even thrice like 107 of last intake.

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Zacharia Murekezi


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