Rwanda National Union of the Deaf (RNUD) established in 1989 was registered on 26th July, 2013 as a national non-governmental organization legally operating in Rwanda with legal personality No. 69/05 under law No. 04/2012 of 17/02/2012 governing the organization and functioning of non-governmental organizations and was officially gazetted by the Republic of Rwanda as Year 55 No. 08 of 22nd February 2016. RNUD brings together all categories of Deaf persons i.e. Deafblind person and was formed purposefully to unite and raise awareness about needs of Deaf persons. RNUD envisions a Rwanda where all Deaf Rwandans are able to exercise their fundamental human rights at all levels. To achieve this, RNUD lobbies and advocates for accessible and inclusive quality services [in particular inclusive education, inclusive health, inclusive employment and economic empowerment]. Two crosscutting themes are brought forward: promotion of human rights of Deaf persons and Rwandan Sign Language training and learning to solve communication gaps. RNUD currently operates in 23 out of 30 Districts of Rwanda.

Deaf people in Rwanda face a complex web of problems ranging from social, economic, cultural and developmental difficulties, negative attitudes by society towards Deaf people, communication barriers. Poverty further degrades Deaf people’s attainment of dignity and unity and access to jobs and education in their communities and this limits their full enjoyment of the fundamental human rights entitled to all human beings. RNUD is dedicated to advocating for the equal opportunities of Deaf Rwandans and for their human rights as set out in National and international law.

RNUD is a member of the National Union of Disabilities Organisations of Rwanda (NUDOR), Umbrella of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities in the fight against HIV/AIDS and for Health Promotion (UPHLS) and is affiliated to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). 

Our Philosophy


To ensure that Deaf Rwandans exercise their rights at all levels.


To promote human rights of the Deaf, advocating for accessible quality services and building the capacity of the Deaf persons in Rwanda.


To ensure that the human rights of Deaf Rwandans are effectively implemented and respected. 

Our Strategic Objectives

  1. To promote Rwandan Sign Language as a legally recognised national language in its own right and to spread its use throughout Rwanda via classes and outreach efforts.
  2. Advocating and lobbying for reforms in laws, policies and programs that take in consideration the unique needs of Deaf Rwandans in areas of health, education, and socio-economic empowerment.
  3. To combat marginalization and disenfranchisement by sensitizing the public on Deaf culture and cooperating with relevant institutions and ministries mandated to assist Deaf people in all areas of development.
  4. To establish, represent and support regional and grassroots associations of the Deaf.
  5. Improving the health status of the Deaf people through SRHR

Our Programs​


Program Goal: To advocate for inclusive health services & Sexual Reproductive Health Rights for Deaf persons in Rwanda. 


Program Goal: to promote the inclusion of Deaf in formal and non-formal education in order to enhance their access to employment and participation in civic and economic processes. 

Advocacy and Communication

Program goal: Our advocacy works primarily to change the social behaviour of public leaders & decision-makers. 

Secure Livelihood

Program Goal: To strengthen the ability of Deaf persons, to make a viable living through increasing opportunities and wealth creation. 

Core Values​

Equal Opportunity

We ensure that everyone, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, colour, HIV status, religion, political affiliation or any other possible excluding factor has equal opportunity, under good governance.


We strive to be self-less and result-oriented in all we do.


We strive to support one another, working co-operatively, respecting one another’s views, and making our work environment positive and enjoyable as we work towards achieving our goal. 

Quality Service

We execute our services, as change agents in a timely manner with empathy and a learning attitude.


We recognise we are part of a wider synergy and work not in isolation but through partnerships and concerted effort.


We work collaboratively, by asking for and giving support, and sharing success with others. 

Transparency and Accountability

We stress good governance, honesty, integrity and trust in all our undertakings.

Deaf Culture

We advocate for Rwandan Sign Language to be delivered in a culturally sensitive manner by respecting the values and beliefs of others even when they differ from our own.


We embrace and encourage a spirit of volunteerism. RNUD emphasises the promotion of Rwandan Sign Language as a mode of information accessibility among its target group.