About the Benebikira Sisters

A history of service

Founded in 1919, the Benebikira Sisters, the first indigenous religious order in Rwanda, have been helping those most in need in the region.They currently educate over 5000 students (80% of them girls) in 7 primary schools and 13 secondary schools, supervise the catechetical teaching in 3 of the 9 dioceses in Rwanda, run or work in hospitals and health centers, run 3 orphanages for 375 children of the Genocide, and staff or operate guesthouses throughout Rwanda. Following the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, the order of over 350 Sisters has become vital to the effort to rebuild a nation that is still struggling to recover from the personal and structural damage that occurred over a decade ago.

A local order, The Benebikira Sisters remained in Rwanda when other orders fled. In the immediate aftermath, they acted quickly to provide hospitality to the Jesuits whose works were destroyed and took care of other convents.

Many of the Sisters also became the only living adults in their extended families and had to assume the role of parent for all of the orphans in their families. In the village of Save, they managed to shelter over 350 people in their church for two and a half months. Twenty Benebikira Sisters were killed during the Rwandan Genocide.

Learn about Rwanda and the region in which the Benebikira Sisters' focus their effort.