Institute for World Justice (IWJ) supports a limited number of national and international organizations through invitation-only grants. Wholly funded by Cummings Foundation‚ this support includes some funding to Holocaust and genocide education projects outside the Foundation’s priority area of eastern Massachusetts. In addition, its international philanthropy is currently directed almost exclusively to nonprofits doing charitable work in Rwanda, as well as some other global charities with which it already has relationships.
Partners In Health
Through Partners In Health, Cummings Foundation was delighted to fund the construction of Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center, Rwanda’s first outpatient infusion center. On August 20, 2013, the Center was dedicated with Bill and Joyce Cummings there along with Alice and Dr. Arlan Fuller, representing Cummings Foundation and its affiliate, Institute for World Justice.
Prior to traveling to Rwanda for this very special occasion, the Cummings, along with Dr. and Mrs. Arlan and Alice Fuller, spent time at Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Serving outpatients, the ambulatory center complements the existing Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence, which treats patients who require overnight hospitalization, and whose 24 beds are always full, as it is the only dedicated cancer center in the country.
This new modern outpatient facility offers oncology consultations, a chemotherapy mixing facility for both inpatients and outpatients, patient support groups, IV chemotherapy administration for 10 to 12 persons, family education, and counseling.
The Center is located in rural Batare province. When asked the reason for the location, Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health said, “No one is taking care of cancer in rural areas and so we decided to do so. Most of the cancer patients we have seen here over the years were from rural areas and had travelled all over looking for treatment. Our mission is to go where patients are and where the pathology is, hence addressing health disparities.”
Dr. Farmer says that Rwanda has made “remarkable progress” lowering death rates in the areas of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, childbirth, and vaccine-preventable illnesses. Cummings Foundation hopes that the Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center brings similar improvements in the lives of Rwandans affected by cancer.
In addition to impacting life expectancy, the Center has had a positive effect on the local economy. Already, construction of the facility provided 161 jobs and training to local citizens. The facility is staffed primarily with Rwandan health professionals.
Cummings Foundation is pleased to work alongside Partners In Health in bringing healthcare to an underserved population as a step toward transforming global health, one patient at a time.
Learn more at:
Butaro Cancer Centre opens new wing
The New Times, August 22, 2013
Rwanda: Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center opens
Partners In Health Blog, August 21, 2013
Partnering with Dana-Farber in Rwanda
Partners In Health website, July 19, 2013
Interview: PIH founder says building systems is vital in ensuring quality healthcare
The New Times, July 15, 2013
Hope for cancer patients as Butaro centre gets upgrade
The New Times, July 9, 2013
Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center Impact Update
May 1, 2013
Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center Impact Update
April 1, 2013
Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center Update
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
In addition to Cummings Foundation’s major general interest in the Cummings School, the Foundation is supporting the School’s specific efforts to combat the health threats posed by zoonotic illnesses, which are diseases that can be passed between animals and people. A significant global problem, nearly three-quarters of human diseases in the last 50 years have been zoonotic. For example, scientists believe the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa originated from human consumption of infected monkey meat.
Through its Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, and in partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Cummings School has a presence in six east African countries. It is using a “one health” approach that combines human medicine, veterinary medicine, and public health to treat communities holistically.
In support of the Cummings School’s “one health” initiatives in Rwanda, Cummings Foundation awarded it a 2013 grant to establish a mobile veterinary clinic with on-site diagnostic capability. The School will also offer professional development training for veterinarians and para-veterinarians. Such services and expertise are vital to the country’s “One Cow per Family” initiative, as the European breeds of cattle being imported for this initiative demand a much higher level of veterinary services than can currently be provided there.
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM)
Currently, Rwanda has 11 dentists, or one dentist per 800,000 people. While it fares better with dental technicians – one per 135,593 inhabitants – these ratios leave the vast majority of Rwandans lacking even the most basic oral healthcare. Pain, bleeding gums, and infections are rampant problems in many rural areas.
TUSDM has the interest, experience, and capacity to develop effective global oral health initiatives. For example, a Tufts project in Zambia, led by Dr. John P. Morgan, uses an effective model of collaboration between local communities, government, and academia to provide an improved oral health workforce and sustainable oral health infrastructure. With a 2013 grant from Cummings Foundation, TUSDM will employ this model in an effort to improve the availability oral healthcare in Rwanda.
Dr. Morgan and his colleagues hope to create a dental clinic at Butaro Hospital, a Partners in Health facility in rural Burera District. Through training programs, they aim to substantially increase the number of qualified oral health workers who can perform routine dental exams and procedures. Ultimately, the program’s goal is to integrate oral health into Rwanda’s overall health system.
Led by Father Patrick Desbois, Yahad - In Unum has led a historic undertaking, crisscrossing the countryside in Eastern Europe in an effort to locate every mass grave at which Jews were killed during the Holocaust. To date, he and his team have identified 800 of an estimated 2,000 such locations. They are also collecting artifacts and, most significantly, recording thousands of video testimonies by eyewitnesses.
The organization is also collecting eyewitness testimonies from Gypsies (Roma) who were deported from Romania to Russia by the Nazis during the Holocaust, as detailed in The Roma Road, a 13-minute video.
The Cummings/Hillel Program for Holocaust and Genocide Education at Tufts University was honored to present a talk by Father Patrick Desbois on March 13, 2012.
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) is a residential community in rural Rwanda serving youth who were orphaned during and after the genocide in 1994. The Village is designed to care for, protect, and nurture these young people, offering a place of hope where "tears are dried" (signified by the Kinyarwanda word agahozo) and where the aim is to live in peace (from Hebrew, shalom).
The ultimate goal of Agahozo-Shalom is to equip young people who have lived through great trauma to become healthy, self-sufficient, and engaged in the rebuilding of their nation. Cummings Foundation supports ASYV’s professional skills program, designed to provide students with the tools they need to enter the job market after they graduate and leave the Village.