About Us

Step Up! American Association for Rwandan Women is a non-profit organization established in 2004 to assist women and children in Rwanda who survived gender-based and other violence during the genocide of 1994. The organization is led by a board of directors and advisors with experience in grass roots community organizations, education, and mental health and in the Foreign Service. Step Up! is based in Columbia, Missouri, USA, with collaborative chapters across the United States.

We encourage you to join Step Up! to bring hope to the survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Your donation will help us to build and maintain the Rwanda counseling center to assist women survivors of rape and other gender-based violence.The center will be called Nsanga, which means “come to me” and it will be a place for hope and healing.

History of Step Up! American Association for Rwandan Women

Step Up! was incorporated as a 501 C 3 organization in 2005 in response to the ongoing trauma experienced by Rwandan women as a result of the genocide in 1994. During the 1994 genocide Tutsi women were specifically targeted for torture and extermination. Many of those who survived were left with unwanted pregnancies, infected with HIV, and have subsequently become impoverished, psychologically traumatized and chronically ill. In the years since its incorporation Step Up! has partnered with a self-help group of Rwandan women in south Rwanda, in addressing their needs; as well as responding to the request of the Kigali Health Institute, the ministry of the Rwandan government which oversees the training of all health related professions in developing a certificate training program in mental health counseling.

Future plans are to build a counseling center in Rwanda to assist women survivors of rape and other forms of gender-based violence.