Rwanda: Club Rafiki

indigo foundation has partnered with local grassroots organisation Club Rafiki since 2012. Club Rafiki works in the impoverished district of Nyamirambo in Kigali to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for young people caught in a cycle of extreme poverty, lack of safe spaces and activities after school and high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Rwanda is a country recovering from a civil war which culminated in the 1994 Genocide. Despite being one of the world’s poorest countries it has made remarkable progress since 1994. At the end of the war, the country was totally devastated but has rebuilt itself and made real progress in achieving key UN Sustainable Development Goals. Overwhelmingly its economic and social progress is due to the efforts of its people and leaders.

Club Rafiki is a rare haven for young people. In 2012, Club Rafiki, with support from indigo foundation, founded Rwanda’s first Hip Hop dance school for young people. That program has now grown and offers over 200 children and young people access to free weekly hip hop classes – an activity that is healthy and confidence building and importantly a means to draw young people off the streets and into the safe and supportive environment of Club Rafiki.

Since 2012, our partnership and Club Rafiki has gone from strength to strength. The partnership now includes support for:

  • Expanded dance classes and sexual health outreach into rural villages outside of Kigali;
  • Core funding for the Club’s sexual and reproductive health clinic which provides counselling, education and laboratory testing – vital to the health and prospects particularly of girls and young women;
  • A peer-to-peer training program for targeted dancers on sexual and reproductive health, including HIV prevention, family planning and positive health programs, which sits alongside a program of public outreach events;
  • the ‘our girls’ program specifically working with girls and young women to build their skills and confidence through, for example, mentoring programs, weekly meetings and training in IT; and
  • English Language Workshops, based on an innovative creative learning approach.


My talent, My health

In 2014 one of the Club Rafiki dancers died of AIDS. His friends and the Club decided that they could do more and have  developed a program training dancers as peer-to-peer educators on sexual and reproductive health. Initially, the Club trained 35 dancers and the program has grown from there. As well as providing sexual and reproductive health information at the end of dance classes, the Club also holds  public events where dancers use performance to attract a large crowd, followed by information, counselling and testing on sexual and reproductive health. Some of these events have attracted crowds of over 1000 people.

our partner - Club Rafiki

Rafiki is Swahili for ‘Friend”. Club Rafiki is a community owned and managed, non government, not for profit organisation. It operates in Nyamirambo, a particularly disadvantaged area of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.

It was founded in1975 by the Dominican Brothers but was totally destroyed in the Genocide. It has been re-established by the local community and now provides programs for children and adults including a library, a kindergarten, adult literacy classes, hairdressing training, family planning education, HIV testing and prevention, outdoor activities such as basketball and a playground and, with indigo’s support, an urban dance school.

The library having electric light and internet access is used by students as a study location as many homes are without power.

The dance classes are seen by the Club not only as worthwhile activities in their own right but also as ways to attract young people to the centre and to engage them in some of the other Club programs.