“Umuganda”

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CO2balance has been working in Rwanda for several years now, and as a company, we really enjoy learning about the unique cultures and practices of the country. . .

Tomorrow is the last Saturday of the month. Here in the UK, people may be planning to go shopping, take a day trip, or perhaps see their friends. . . In Rwanda, something different will be happening. “Umuganda” means “Community Service.” On the last Saturday of each month, there is a mandatory community service day, designed to be a day of contribution and building the country by citizens themselves. The start of this practice goes back to colonial times and is still practiced today. On this day, business activity halts, public transportation is limited, and people are seen working everywhere across the whole of Rwanda. Activities may include cleaning the streets, cutting grass along roads, or repairing public facilities. People with particular skills offer their services for free on this day, for example, Doctors may offer free medical examination.

The day is intended to build community involvement and strengthen cohesion between communities. People can also access authorities to articulate their needs and voice opinions on various issues. It’s great to see a whole country pulling together and demonstrating community spirit, and it’s things like this that make Rwanda such a great place to work!