The Rural Development Interdiocesan Service (RDIS) is an organisation promoting sustainable development in four dioceses of the Anglican Church of Rwanda: Butare, Cyangugu, Kigeme and Shyogwe. We do this by mobilising the local church members to be involved in developing their local community, and so lifting themselves out of poverty.
The project can be traced back to 1991 when three other dioceses were carved out of the then Butare Diocese from which the Rural Development Service, which had started in the 1960s, became an Inter-Diocesan Service, currently called RDIS.
The activities were disrupted by the 1994 genocide which caused massive destruction on RDIS’ project, taking the lives of many people including the then project coordinator and leaving behind formidable challenges: nearly half a million orphans, 1 in 4 women being widowed, and poverty being increased in many families.
The project operations were re-launched in 1995 following a meeting by the dioceses’ management under the present name of Rural Development Inter-Diocesan Service and a team of development workers started working from scratch.
The project’s coordination office is currently based in Shyogwe Diocese a few kilometers from Gitarama town in central Rwanda. RDIS’ activities are concentrated in the centre and the south-western part of the country where the four dioceses are located, serving nearly half of the Rwandan population.
RDIS believes that the church has a central role to play in the socio-economic development of the people. The organisation focuses on promoting unity and participating in the healing process of the people in the four dioceses through social transformation brought about by spiritual change and participation of the community in identifying and implementing relevant projects to overcome their daily problems.
Working through various projects is our way of communicating the gospel and God’s love to the poorest of the poor, applying integral mission and responding to God’s call in Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”.