When the retiring age to step down as the Bishop of Shyira turned, John Rucyahana was not yet depleted of strength or energy to change people’s lives and still on his agenda was a community of people that needed his support.
The historically marginalized peoples often discriminated and whose economic activity was hunting and pottery work also needed to be integrated into the Rwandan society. This indigenous community in Rwanda is known by various names like indigenous Rwandans, ancient hunter-gatherers, Pygmies, potters, or historically marginalized population.
“This group of Rwandans also needed to be integrated into society, it’s unfortunate they were neglected for years so we had to design an exemplary project to support them,” observes Bishop Rucyahana. Adding that his project has enrolled most of their children into primary, secondary, TVET and university.
Bishop Rucyahana established a non-profit organisation called Transformational Ministries Inc to support vulnerable people like historically marginalized peoples.
He notes that history left them behind yet today’s developments are very fast and without support they would forever be marginalized.
With the currently spirit of competency everyone is scrambling to make ends meet but the historically marginalized population still beg for food and other necessities or do petty jobs because many never knew any better alternative.
“What I want to is to show them that they also have value in life to teach them the spirit of productivity,” underlined Bishop Rucyahana.
Prior to 1973, when the national parks were created in Rwanda, historically marginalized peoples were displaced from the forest making them among the poorest with no land. Statistics from 2012 clearly illustrate that 77% of the historically marginalized peoples were not able to read, write or count. Less than 1% had completed secondary education and none had completed higher education.
As an educator Bishop John Rucyahana has introduced education to these communities where his project sponsors 168 children. They are provided school tuition, uniforms, sweater, shoes, bags, lunch at school, and other school materials.
Transformational Ministries gives out cows and goats to some families who are able to look after them and help them know the importance of livestock with a policy attached to it that the first born female cow when it became mature be passed on to another family to promote nutrition and engage them in productivity.
To guard against cases where some people take advantage to cheat them out of their property like livestock, the project made agreements to forbid any sale and where it happens they ensure its returned and given to another household.
The project also undertakes renovations of some houses for historically marginalized people as funds become available.
Evangelism is another important pillar at Transformational Ministries preaching the gospel, according to Psalm 127:1 NIV “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain”. A ministry without God Conviction – Faith and Hope at its foundations will never accomplish anything of lasting significance.
Transformational Ministries does outreach crusades and works with all Churches whom believes in Jesus Christ. The Ministry believes that Rwandans, like all other peoples, need to have their lives transformed by the power of Christ.
Bishop Rucyahana underlined that these programmes at Transformational Ministries are designed in consultation with beneficiaries and local leadership to respond to the current and distinct needs of each community. This approach is more impactful as it gets less resistance and long lasting positive impact.