Ex-FDLR combatant living with disability upbeat after receiving decent shelter

On 30 June 2022 at 03:37

Barthazal Ndagijimana, a former combatant of the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) based in forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has expressed delight for received house after reintegration into the society.

The man with vision impairment emanating from effects of wars he fought in DRC is among repatriates who arrived in Rwanda in 2018.

Upon arrival, Ndagijimana hailing from Gisagara District was taken to Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration Centre where he spent six months undergoing civic education training before joining his family.

Speaking to IGIHE, Ndagijimana reminisced his ordeal where he fought many battles in DRC forests for 20 years.

“I was seriously injured in Kabaro as we clashed with state army. The wound spread to my face and subsequently led to vision impairment. My health deteriorated since then,” he noted.

After surviving bullets with injuries, Ndagijimana stayed in forests where he endured bitter life before deciding to return to his mother land.

“I was warmly welcomed in Rwanda. At Mutobo, I received different kinds of support, be it foods, clothes, basic equipment. They are an addition to favourable environment. As we were discharged, I was given Rwf200,000 to start new life,” he said.

Arriving home, life didn’t go easy on him as someone living with disability.

He later received more support from the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on funding of the Government of Japan to cope with effects of COVID 19.

Ndagijimana used the money to venture into agriculture and bought a farmland to help him move out of poverty. He later married a wife with whom they have sired one child.

“I married a wife with whom we lived in parents’ house but I had hope to move to my own house as promised by Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission,” he said.

His house worth Rwf20 million has been completed and is among decent houses built in Gisagara District.

After getting married, Ndagijimana draw much emphasis on agricultural activities to achieve desired progress and feed his family.

RDRC provided more financial support which he bought another farmland.

Ndagijimana also bought small livestock including chickens. Today, his household can meet all basic needs and find food easily.

Ndagijimana is among four ex-combatants living with disabilities who received decent shelters.

Ndagijimana lives in Gisagara District.
Ndagijimana and her wife are blessed with a child.
Agricultural activities help Ndagijimana to feed his family.
Ndagijimana and her wife have ventured into agriculture.