“Me. Andrews Kananga is currently the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Forum – Rwanda, a position he has held since 2008. From 2004 – 2008, he was a Senior Legal adviser to National Semi-traditional Courts (Gacaca) that were charged with trials of people suspected of having committed Genocide in Rwanda. In 2012, Andrews was among the three Legal experts nominated by the Ministry of Justice in Rwanda to oversee the development of a legal aid policy in Rwanda. He has contributed enormously to legal reforms in Rwanda which ushered in the legal aid policy, legal aid bill, reform of the penal code and criminal procedure code and many more pieces of legislations that favor access to justice for the poor and vulnerable in Rwanda. Andrews is a founding member of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ) and head of research in the same center.”
Leonie KARUGAHE MUTONI
“Leonie Mutoni Karugahe is the Executive Personal Assistant to the Executive Director at the Legal Aid Forum, a position she has held since 2020.
As Executive Assistant, she works closely with the Executive Director in coordinating all departments, initiatives, and projects at LAF. She also provides technical and administrative support to LAF secretariat, to ensure smooth implementation of programs. Leonie is a hardworking and versatile individual with over 5 years successful track record in providing administrative support to senior management in fast-paced environments. She has hands-on experience in organizing meetings, coordinating with stakeholders, and maintaining the executive’s calendars. She has excellent communication skills and is well-versed in comprehending workflow.
Before joining LAF, Leonie was an Administrative Assistant at Culligan International – Rwanda Headquarter.
She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media and Communication, with a concentration in Public Relations from Mount Kenya University.
“Ms. Musabyumuremyi has over 14 years of experience in finance and administration. Her experience ensures financial excellence and accuracy at all levels of the project. Ms. Musabyumuremyi is also a high-level communicator and can discuss technical budget details with all levels of project staff to best understand the budgetary implications of various activities and aspects of projects. She has a Master’s degree in Finance and Accounting and Certified Public Accountant in progress.”
“Habimana Alexis is currently the Operations Manager at The Legal Aid Forum. His responsibility is coordinating Human Resource Management, procurement, logistics and monitor adherence to rules, regulations and procedures.
Alexis deeply understands the value of discipline, commitment, passion, leadership and hardworking. Accordingly, he struggles to implement these values in his day to day life. He has a strong experience in public and private Procurement of over than 12 Years, Strategic Management and Leadership.
Alexis received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Management.
“Mr. Ndayishimiye Zacharie is the Business Development and Grants Manager of The Legal Aid Forum in Rwanda. He joined LAF in 2015 as the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer until 2018. Some of his responsibilities include but not limited to administration of grant making, project/ program design, fundraising activities, coordination and implementation, monitoring and evaluation including report writing.
He worked with the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda and held the Information and Documentation Officer (2007-2010) and Project Officer (2011-2015) positions under the Justice and Peace Commission. He is a committed development practitioner with extensive experience in managing projects in different fields including livelihoods, governance, access to justice and humanitarian.
He has diverse experience in all aspects of Project Management, experience seeing a project through from start to finish in day-to-day management with expertise in project design, management, and monitoring.
Me Jean Paul IBAMBE
“Me Jean-Paul IBAMBE, is the Senior Capacity Building Officer of The Legal Aid Forum since January 2021 with responsibilities of coordinating Projects, Capacity Building, Research & advocacy and Legal empowerment programs of LAF. He joined The Legal Aid Forum in 2018 in the capacity of Project Coordinator for Legal Aid Forum’s project “Using ICT to Provide Legal Aid to Rwandan Population-845”.
A practicing Lawyer admitted at Rwanda Bar Association and East African Law Society with a vast experience in Legal Aid, Access to Justice, Media Regulation, Access to information, ICT and Human Rights, he previously worked as news editor for various media outlets in Rwanda. He joined LAF after serving for 4 years in capacity of Legal Advisor for Rwanda Media Commission, The Rwanda’s media self-regulatory Body.
Me Jean-paul IBAMBE is trained on International Standards on Freedom of Expression by The University of Oxford; Access to information Law by Thomson Foundation in London-UK. He holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from National University of Rwanda, Diploma in Legal Practice (DLP) from The Institute of legal Practice Development (ILPD) and is pursuing his Master’s (LLM) in Business International Law
Me Marie Louise MUKASHEMA
“With more than 13 years of experience in legal aid, Me Mukashema Marie Louise is a Senior Legal Aid Attorney at Legal Aid Forum and focuses on complex civil and criminal matters including custody, divorce, land disputes and domestic violence. She has extensive experience in advocacy and training on child and women's human rights, particularly in sexual rights and violence against women.
Me Mukashema Marie Louise joined LAF in 2013 as officer in charge of research and training; in this position, she was involved in research and training activities and gained complex experience in advocacy for law reforms and developing training materials.
Before joining LAF, Mukashema was a legal aid project coordinator at Lawyers without borders (Avocats Sans Frontière Belge) for 4 years and her role was to oversee all legal aid activities, liaise with partners and advocacy for the most vulnerable people to access justice.
Me Mukashema Marie Louise holds an LLB in Law from ULK and hold a postgraduate diploma in Legal practice from ILPD
Me Mary MUSONI
Mary MUSONI is the Senior Legal Empowerment officer at the Legal Aid forum in-charge of assessing and managing client files and needs as well as the coordination and supervision of legal empowerment activities of LAF. She holds an LLB from the National University of Rwanda, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development of Rwanda and is a registered member of the Rwanda Bar association and East African Law Society.
She formerly worked for Lamèsè, a global public health start-up, with footprints in the UK and Africa and Forzley & Associates, an international public health law company with headquarters in Washington, DC, before joining the Legal Aid Forum in 2016. Her work with both companies included using the law to protect and restore accountability through tackling injustices in health systems in developing countries.
She is 2021 alumnus of the Mandela Washington fellowship, a flagship program of the U.S. Government's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and is currently her Master’s (LLM) in International Criminal Justice and the Law of Human Rights at the University of Rwanda.
“Damien Munyandekwe joined The Legal Aid Forum since 2021 as Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Officer. His responsibilities are leading overall implementation of MEL system and advise the Legal Aid Forum secretariat and members on issues related to monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
Damien has a huge experience of over 10 years in Project M&E form different interventions in Basic & Secondary Education, Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, WASH, social inclusion, Governance and Justice Social protection and nutrition and under several donors including USAID, PEPFAR, UKAID, FCDO, UNHCR UNICEF, EU.
Before joining The Legal Aid Forum, Damien worked for many organizations like Voluntary Service Overseas, Chemonics, OXFAM, Innovation for Poverty Action, Save the Children and TechnoServe.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in development studies with concentration in Social Science from the University of Technology and Arts of Byumba.”
“Theogene Twiringiyimana joined The Legal Aid Forum in 2016 as Project Coordinator. Some of Theogene’s responsibilities include but not limited to coordination, support, supervision, and monitoring all project activities ; legal aid to refugees; liaise with and ensure smooth collaboration of stakeholders/partners, participate in project-related meetings at the national level and where necessary at the field level, and ensure that resolutions taken in the meetings are implemented, .
Theogene is an experienced Legal Professional with a demonstrated history of working in Humanitarian organizations. Skilled in refugee laws, Child Protection& SGBV laws, International humanitarian law, and Legal Advice.
He graduated from the National University of Rwanda Faculty of Law and acquainted with judicial laws and Rwandan court systems.
Jules MUGISHA Deo
“Jules MUGISHA Deo joined the Legal Aid Forum in 2018 as National Peace Advisor at the Peaceful Coexistence Project which is implemented in Mahama sector Kirehe district by Legal Aid Forum (LAF) in partnership with GIZ-ZFD through Refugee Component Unit of Civil Peace Service (CPS) for German International Cooperation.
He is a specifically responsible for Planning, organizing and implementing trainings with the target groups in camps and in refugee host community; Monitoring participants of trainings in practicing non-violent conflict resolution and mediation techniques; Strengthening the effectiveness and cooperation of existing conflict resolution mechanism in the camp and host community; Developing an activity plan with its corresponding budget; Monitoring and evaluating trainings with especially leaders, lessons learnt and adjust training modules accordingly.
Before joining the Peaceful coexistence project, Mr Jules worked at GHDF (Global Humanitarian and Development Foundation) as Monitoring and Evaluation (2016-2018) and at Ombudsman Office as Investigator (2004-2016).
Jules received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Sciences at National University of Rwanda and hold a Masters in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformations at University of Rwanda.”
“Mrs Gloria Mukandahiro holds a bachelor’s degree in Management.
She has served as Director of Administrations and Finance for a period of 10 years and has an extensive experience in finance and human resource in nonprofit organizations. She has occupied different positions in finance and human resource management for at least 19 years.
She has worked in a Project of CLADHO ( P.A.P.G) as Director of Finance and Administration for a period of 4 years before becoming the National Coordinator of the same Project for a period of 2 years .
She has been the Director of Administration and Finance of CCOAIB for a period of 5 years prior to joining LEGAL AID FORUM.
Mrs Gloria Mukandahiro is currently the Human Resource Officer of the legal aid forum.”
“Arielle Iribagiza KAMANZI is currently a procurement officer for the legal Aid Forum-Rwanda, a position she has held since 2019. From September 2018 to December 2018, she was a child protection officer for the legal aid forum at Mahama camp (Kirehe District) where she was in charge of identifying, receiving and follow up the unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) for family re-unification and Facilitating birth registration of children in camp.
Arielle was a project coordinator for right to protection and participation, a project implemented by the Legal aid forum in partnership with plan international Rwanda.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in travel and tourism management from the University of tourism and business studies. She is passionate about her work and able to learn new tasks quickly.”
“Crispin RWIRANGIRA is currently an IT officer,a position she has held since 2021. Crispin joined the Legal Aid Forum- Rwanda in 2018 as IT Consultant with 12 years of experience in IT as a software developer in supporting IT projects, providing staff and network support, Programming support, Database support, and experience in Networking, Graphic Design, skilled in PHP, Databases, Windows Server, Java, and HTML. Strong arts and design professional.
Crispin is a network specialist with an eye for efficiency who likes to work both independently and as part of a team. In addition to that, he is a Microsoft certified professional, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and Microsoft Technology Associate.
Crispin has a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) focused in Computer Science and systems from the National University of Rwanda.”
“Cecilia RUTEMBESA is our Research Officer. She is an intelligent young graduate of law from the University of Rwanda, an open minded researcher and expert in legal analysis. As a Research Officer, Cecilia undertakes research projects at LAF from their preliminary stages to the final stages and ensures that they are conducted with due diligence with her experience in qualitative and quantitative research.
As one of our core programs, research has been a basis for evidence-based advocacy to ensure that everyone has access to Justice and Cecilia is dedicated to ensuring the effective implementation of all research projects in LAF. She is a native speaker of Kinyarwanda, fluent in English and has a working knowledge of Swahili.”
Christella IGIHOZO KAREKEZI
“Christella Igihozo KAREKEZI joined The Legal Aid Forum in 2021 as a Communications Officer. Christella is responsible for strategic communications planning, managing all external and stakeholders’ communications, knowledge dissemination and outreach in the areas of legal empowerment, research and advocacy, as well as promotion & protection of Human rights.
Before joining The Legal Aid Forum, Christella worked at United Nations Volunteers as Programme Management and Communications Intern and most recently as Administrative & Communications Manager in Rwanda Children’s Books Organization. She also serves as a mentor to kids from Iramiro Center through What If Rwanda non-profit organization. Her work with different organizations focused on contributing provision of communications services to push towards a more digital fast developing working experience.
Christella received a bachelor’s degree in Communications with concentration in Business from Southern New Hampshire University.”
“Nathalie NZOBE serves as the Legal Aid Forum's Accountant. For 14 years, Nathalie has built an extensive experience in civil society and Public Accounting and Budgeting. She joined the Legal Aid Forum as Budget Officer Whereby her responsibilities included but not limited to overall preparation of the Budget and Cash flow of the Institution. Before joining The Legal Aid Forum (LAF), Nathalie worked at Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) where she occupied various positions.
Nathalie graduated from Kigali Independent University (ULK) where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Specialization in Finance.
“Nyiraneza Claudine is a Budget Officer at the Legal Aid Forum with a good experience in accounting and auditing fields. Her work in legal Aid Forum goes with budgets preparation and monitoring for always ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the projects implementation, she participates in the projects financial planning, audits and assist the Finance office to prepare the financial statements& and reports.
Before Joining the Legal Aid Forum, Claudine worked with NURU East Africa Ltd as Accountant and administration manager where she was in charge of all company’s accounting.
She holds a diploma in Economics from National University of Rwanda.”
“Joy MUKAKAMALI joined The Legal Aid Forum in 2016 as a Senior Legal Officer. Joy is responsible for coordinating all LAF activities in Mahama Camp, Attend relevant coordination meetings and report back to the office.
Guide, aid in filing complaints and advocate before judicial, administrative or other bodies, according to the rules and procedures pertaining to provision of legal services, more especially SGBV related Cases and Develop, disseminate accurate to the beneficiaries leaflets with SGBV, crime prevention messages, evidence preservation as well as equipping refugees with preliminary information on National Laws; with overall objective of ensuring legal aid to refugees is delivered on time.
Before joining The Legal Aid Forum, Joy worked at Nibakure Children’s Village as Village Administrator. Worked as Prison Project Coordinator with Lawyers of Hope, providing legal assistance/ representation to juvenile offenders in former Nyarugenge, Muhanga and Nyagatare Juvenile Prisons and as Office Manager with Lawyers of Hope in charge of daily management of office and Offering legal advice to any “drop in” clients who attend the office.
Joy received Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILDP) and Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Kigali Independent University.”
“Joseph BIZIMANA joined The Legal Aid Forum-Rwanda in 2020 as Senior Legal Officer in Kigeme Refugee camp and has been the Senior Legal Officer in Gihembe Refugee camp in 2019 and legal officer from 2016 to 2018.
Joseph’s responsibilities mainly include providing legal assistance in general; to conduct detention monitoring visits; facilitation of civil registration; conducting legal education through awareness campaigns and public sensitization and promotion of the visibility and representation of the organization at field level.
Joseph is bachelor’s degree holder in Law from Universite Libre de Kigali, a Post graduate student at ILPD and A2 Diploma holder in Languages from College du Christ-Roi.”
“Parfait Ngabo, Holds a Masters degree in Public international law and a bachelor's degree in Law from Universite libre de Kigal(ULK).
Parfait Joined The legal Aid forum in 2016 and is currently based in Mugombwa camp as a Senior legal officer..”
“Aline UWAMAHORO joined The Legal Aid Forum in November 2016 as Legal Officer in the project entitled “Legal Aid to Refugee” for now she is working in Urban Huye refugee setting. Aline is responsible for Providing legal advice to the project beneficiaries and follow up the received cases whenever needed, identifying cases that need legal representation and report on them on time, facilitate birth registration of children in camps, prepare and conduct legal education and awareness campaigns on the rights and responsibilities of refugees birth registration, crime prevention and response, detention monitoring, participate in all activities organized by the LAF and partners whose mission is to assist refugees, prepare project progress reports.
Before joining The Legal Aid Forum, Aline worked at Transparency International Rwanda as intern in Legal Aid department. She also entered in Rwanda Bar Association, now as an intern advocate. Her work in different institution was about the provision of legal aid and advocacy.
Aline received a bachelor’s degree in law from National University of Rwanda and Post graduate diploma from Institute of Legal Practice and Development.”
“GATARI Germain joined The Legal Aid Forum in 2015 as a Legal Officer. Germain is responsible for facilitating children birth registration, monitoring detention, legal advice and legal advocacy in Mahama camp, guide, aid in filing complaints and advocate before judicial, administrative or other bodies, according to the rules and procedures pertaining to provision of legal services, more especially SGBV related Cases and Develop, disseminate accurate to the beneficiaries leaflets with SGBV, crime prevention messages, evidence preservation as well as equipping refugees with preliminary information on National Laws; with overall objective of ensuring legal aid to refugees is delivered on time.
Before joining The Legal Aid Forum worked as Legal Officer in AVEGA- AGAHOZO , providing legal assistance/ facilitating representation to genocide widower .
Germain received Bachelor’s Degree in Law from UNILAK.”
“Patrice Munyantarama joined The Legal Aid Forum in 2015 as a Legal Officer. Patrice is responsible for facilitating children birth registration, monitoring detention, legal advice and legal advocacy in Mahama camp, guide, aid in filing complaints and advocate before judicial, administrative or other bodies, according to the rules and procedures pertaining to provision of legal services, more especially SGBV related Cases and Develop, disseminate accurate to the beneficiaries leaflets with SGBV, crime prevention messages, evidence preservation as well as equipping refugees with preliminary information on National Laws; with overall objective of ensuring legal aid to refugees is delivered on time.
Before joining The Legal Aid Forum, Patrice worked as Prison Project Coordinator with ARDHO, providing legal assistance/ representation to Rilima or Bugesera, Musanze and former 1930. Patrice also worked as a legal officer in Kigeme camp, Kiziba camp and Gihembe camp working for ARDHO in partnership with PLAN international. He also worked as a consultant to train refugees in preventing SGBV working with Rwanda women’s network.
Patrice received Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Kigali Independent University and many other different trainings in different domains.”
“Redempta MAFUBO joined The Legal Aid Forum in 2018 as a Legal Officer. She is responsible for receiving calls of legal aid beneficiaries, analyzing their legal issues and advising them according to the relevant laws and Recording data/information received from the users or beneficiaries of legal aid services.
I have extensive experience in analyzing legal issues and giving legal advice. I am capable to analyze witnesses’ statements, writing the cases and court submissions. I actively participated in trainings of different laws. I am disciplined, quick learner and good at giving convincing arguments and willing to share ideas for others.
Redempta is currently seeking a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Institute of Legal Practice and Development, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from University of Rwanda.”
Jean Nepomuscene KAYIRANGA
“Jean Nepomucene KAYIRANGA joined Legal Aid Forum in 2018 as legal officer. He is responsible for calling and receiving calls from the beneficiaries of legal aid services, recording information received from the beneficiaries of legal aid services, participation in the review of beneficiaries of justice sector services where necessary, participation in the analysis of the feedback received from the citizens, providing legal advice to the beneficiaries of legal aid services and referral their legal issues to the specific institutions.
Before joining the Legal Aid Forum, Jean Nepomuscene worked at Association des Etudiants et Eleve Rescapés du Genocide (AERG) as assistant legal officer. He was responsible for facilitating AERG beneficiaries by focusing on their legal issues, provide basic legal education, receiving clients complaints and providing generic legal advice, orientation and referral cases to the competent institutions on behalf of the beneficiaries, assistant of the clients where their cases located, field visit, recording and tracking legal cases and providing basic generic legal advice to the clients received.
Jean Nepomuscene received a Bachelor’s degree from National University of Rwanda. He also got a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD).”
“UWINGABIRE Claudine works as a legal officer at Legal Aid Forum, Some of her responsibilities are calling and receiving calls from the beneficiaries of legal aid services, providing legal advices to the beneficiaries of the Legal Aid Forum.
Before joining the Legal Aid Forum, she provided Legal Aid and advisory services at HAGURUKA N.G.O as a volunteer.
she holds a bachelor’s degree in law from University of Rwanda, she is currently taking a course of legal practice.”
“Juvenal MANISHIMWE is a Legal Officer of the Legal Aid Forum (LAF). Since 2018, Juvenal has been responsible for participating in different legal activities of helping access to justice to the beneficiaries through legal aid services and legal assistance.
Prior to joining LAF, Juvenal served as a Court Judgment Review at the Office of the Ombudsman and a Legal Officer at Justa Causa Law firm. He also worked in The Network of Lawyers of Hope in Rwanda (LOH) as Project Legal Officer.
Juvenal earned his Bachelor’s Degree (LL. B) in Law from The University of Rwanda, School of law and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD).”
“Sharon BUSINGE holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) from the University of Rwanda in 2016. She also holds a Post-graduate Diploma in Legal practice (DLP) from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD).
She has served in various roles in her legal career. She currently works as a coordinator of the LAF Call Centre where she, among other responsibilities, coordinates staff attached to the call Centre, manages, drafts, and advises on cases referred to her.
Sharon is a native speaker of Kinyarwanda and has an excellent command of English and has working knowledge of French.
“Jean Nkundimana joined the Legal Aid Forum in 2019 as Intern with responsibilities of receiving client complaints, reviews their files and advise them on legal matters.
After completion of the Internship, Jean served as Call Center Operator where he has the duty of preparing and organizing the contacts database of relevant beneficiaries; calling and receiving calls from the beneficiaries of legal aid services, recording information received from the beneficiaries of the legal aid services, participation in the review or counter –verification of the information provided by beneficiaries of justice sector services where necessary, participation in the analysis of the data / feedback received from the citizens.
Jean Nkundimana received his bachelor’s degree from Kigali Independent University/ULK in school of Law.
“Marie Chantal Niyonagira is currently the administrative assistant of the Legal Aid Forum- Rwanda. Before being promoted, Marie Chantal started as a receptionist, a position she held for 7 years. Some of her responsibilities are processing and directing mails to the outside institutions, directing and assisting visitors, receiving, stamping, recording and forwarding incoming documents mails and invoices.
Prior to joining The Legal Aid Forum, she worked as a public secretary in a company where she was responsible for composing memoire, photocopying, banded books, and invites, among other things.
Chantal graduated from Kigali's University of Lay Adventists with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Finance degree (UNILAK).”