The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Fodé Ndiaye, speaking to journalists after donating blood, stressed the importance of the activity and how it aligns with the mandate of the United Nations in Rwanda.
“Saving lives is part of our mandate. This is why we have dedicated this day to make sure that UN staff donate their blood in order to save the lives of people” Ndiaye said.
In total, 105 UN staff donated blood, which will potentially help save more than three hundred lives.
Meeting with One UN resident Coordinator
The morning of Friday, October 27th, saw UN staff from all agencies in the country gather in the WFP Main Conference Hall to officially meet and interact with the Resident Coordinator, for the first time since he assumed office in July 2017. The mood was jovial all round as the Resident Coordinator began by reciting the message of the UN Secretary General on the occasion to mark the UN Day 2017, and thereafter UN Heads of Agencies took turns explaining to staff what the UN reforms mean and what sort of impact they are expected to have at the country level.
Federation of UN Staff Associations Chairperson Olivia Mukarushema of FAO then spoke on behalf of staff, thanking the Resident Coordinator for making the time to meet all staff and offer them a chance to interact freely.
She also seized the opportunity to make a rallying call to all staff - not just Heads of Agencies and senior managers - to answer to the call for donations to support surviving family members of fallen UN staff, tragically lost during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
She also added that the One UN family should support the Agaciro Development Fund, Rwanda’s sovereign wealth fund, as this is a tangible means of helping Rwandans help themselves.
The concept of Umuganda originates from a Kinyarwanda word meaning “timber used to construct traditional houses”, and can be translated as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’.
This is exactly what transpired on Vuganyana Hill as UN staff mingled freely with scores of residents of the area and managed to plant over 10,000 tree seedlings – all within one morning’s work.
Thereafter, all participants of Umuganda braved intermittent light rain showers to congregate and have a meeting to discuss issues pertinent to the community and latest developments.
Thereafter, the UN Resident Coordinator pledged a donation of $600 on behalf of all UN agencies in Rwanda, which will help pay for “Mutuelles de Sante” – a local health insurance scheme – for 170 of the most vulnerable in society.