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About us

Rwanda Occupational Therapy Association (RWOTA) is a professional association formed in 2015 founded by Occupational Therapist in Rwanda.
It is a nonprofit organization working with different partners including the University of Rwanda, Handicap International Rwanda,
Occupational Therapy Africa Region Group, World Federation of Occupational Therapy, Rwanda Allied Health Professions Council,
and many others to promote quality Occupational Therapy for the people of Rwanda.

Our Mission

The mission of RWOTA is to promote quality Occupational Therapy for the people of Rwanda

Our Vision

• To advocate for and promote quality development of Occupational Therapy throughout Rwanda
• To provide an association for any person who is qualifies as member
• To provide support and encourage initial and further education of occupational Therapists
• To disseminate professional information for the benefit of occupational Therapy in Rwanda
• To act as advisor to the Rwandan Allied Health Professional Council on occupational Therapy practice in Rwanda
• To participate whenever Occupational Therapy expertise contributes to policy making in the areas of prevention, curative and rehabilitative matters

Our Core Values

INTEGRITY: We value professionalism and uphold the RWOTA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.
RESPECT: We build an inclusive environment through mentoring, delivering on commitments, working together with trust, and enjoying the camaraderie of each other.
INNOVATION: We learn, share insights, and encourage our members to make a difference today and for the future.
SERVICE: We contribute to the Association, IT profession, and society utilizing leadership, appropriate solutions, and sound processes.


Occupational Therapy is a health care profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupations. Occupational therapists enable people to participate successfully in activities of everyday life for better health in a range of environments despite the prevailing illness, disease, disability or any kind of mental and physical limitations.

COVID-19 has caused disruption to daily life of people in Rwanda and across the world. While supporting social distancing recommendations and movement restrictions to keep our communities safe from the virus, we also need to be mindful of how disruption can affect our mental health, fitness and occupational health.

Rwanda Occupational Therapy Association recommends a balanced activity routine to overcome stress, hopelessness, helplessness, loss of meaning for life during self- isolation, social distancing or keeping at home during COVID-19 pandemic. Adopting a well - balanced activity routine is essential in relieving stress, calming down disturbing emotions, providing a sense of self-worth and a meaningful sense of one’s existence especially in such a time of COVID-19 pandemic.


Occupational Therapists specifically deal with Remedial, restorative treatments and rehabilitation of persons with Physical, Cognitive, Psychosocial and Developmental Impairments. As a profession we recognize the consequences and changes that are occurring in how people access and undertake their occupations as a result of the COVID19 pandemic (WFOT). These include, but are not limited to: accessing resources, activities of daily living, communication, mobility, social isolation, displacement, issues with mental health and wellbeing. Occupational therapists understand the vital need to access and use infection control measures combined with the need to sustain good physical, psychological, mental health and stamina in order to stay safe and healthy.

SOURCES: 1.  https://www.wfot.org/covid-19-information-and-resources-for-occupational-therapists

2. https://covid19.who.int/

Occupational therapy is a client-centered health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapy practitioners provide habilitation and rehabilitation services, which are among the essential health benefits of the affordable health care. In addition, occupational therapy’s holistic approach compliments the affordable health care’s focus on wellness and prevention. By focusing on wellness, managing chronic disease, improving function, and supporting independence, occupational therapy practitioners can help the inter-professional primary care team improve outcomes while decreasing cost.

OTs work with individuals across the lifespan from infancy to older adulthood and  in all aspects of the recovery continuum including acute, subacute, rehabilitation, community and chronic phases. In all of these practice areas, OTs address disability in real life settings that matter to clients including home, community, school and work.

OTs are skilled health care professionals providing goal-oriented rehabilitation for clients who have sustained musculoskeletal injuries (soft tissue and orthopedic), concussions, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neuro-developmental conditions such as (cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, down syndrome,..) and trauma-induced or aggravated mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. In addition, OTs are expert therapist in hand and upper limb rehabilitation and fabrication and prescription of the upper limb orthoses (splint), and assistive devices.  Some interventions serve to minimize the underlying limitation, while others help the individual compensate for the limitation in both the short and long term. OTs provide rehabilitation using a diverse range of interventions, each with the purpose of facilitating improved functioning, enabling clients to apply newly-developed skills.

As experts in function, OTs utilize functional markers to guide continuation, modification or conclusion of services. With treatment guided by function as opposed to symptoms, the focus is on enabling the individual to overcome barriers and return to activities of everyday living.

An illustrative case examples of occupational therapy interventions are on stroke survivors. OTs assess the impact of changes in both motor function, sensation, coordination, visual perception, and cognition on the stroke survivors’ capacity to manage daily life living skills, and provide intervention. Because physical, impairment, cognition, injuries, and a host of other issues can hamper a child’s ability to perform common tasks or progress normally through the stages of social, or cognitive development; Pediatric OTs focuses on helping children develop the skills they need to grow into functional, independent adults.


General purpose: Occupational therapists are licensed professionals who evaluate, plan, direct and administer medically prescribed occupational therapy programs in outpatient or inpatient facilities to restore function and prevent disability following disease or injury, or loss of body part. They assist patient to reach their maximum performance and assume a place in a society while learning to live with the limits of their capabilities. The occupational therapists can perform administrative duties; participate in department Performance improvement, infection control and Safety Educational program

Today March 23, 2021 Mr. Albert Habinshuti OT/L PDC Occupational Therapist shared a presentation on OT role in Neonatology and early interventions with (Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) technical working groups of pediatricians through Partners in health for their started implementation in NICU and Early interventions for children with or at Risk of developmental disabilities. He highlighted key points on the scope of practice and OT interventions in NICU. One of the aims include but not limited to " to provide individualized early habilitation and rehabilitation interventions, but also infants developmental stimulation based on their ongoing behavioral cues to elicit babies functional skills and work on achieving appropriate physiological developmental skills. 

Some of the information were highlighted: 

1. Main areas were highlighted:

- Sensory components

- ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)

- Performance skills and environmental adaptation

2. Why OT in Neonatal Care Unit?

- Early identification and intervention for children with or at risk of developmental difficulties

- Monitor and enhance infants' daily activities (feeding, sleep and rest, play,...)

-  Check for developmental reflexes that inhibit child motor functions

- Perioral stimulation (to enhance feeding, sucking and swallowing skills)

-Developmentally supportive positioning ( to prevent deformities, adjusting physiological posture which normalize muscle tone in the limbs and provide comfort of the baby.

-  Advice on environmental adaptations ( to reduce infantile stress)

- Sensory stimulation and modulation

- To provide parents with the tools they need to communicate with their baby, identify their baby's needs and provide suitable developmental stimuli. 

- Facilitate neuromotor skills ( to promote the development of normal motor movements and postural patterns.

  • Our Guiding Principles reflect RWOTA beliefs about your role as a member and the impact we want RWOTA to have in the health profession.
    • We aspire to be better leaders, better people.
    • We excel through honesty.
    • We treat others with respect.
    • We demand ethical behavior of ourselves.
    • We encourage out of the box thinking.
    • We lead with confidence and inspire team members to achieve success.
    • We don’t let fear of change paralyze us in reaching our goals.
    • We are fiscally responsible.
    • We take ownership in everything we do.
    • We have fun


RWOTA administrative structures consist of the following: General Assembly, Executive committee, and conflict management committee.


The General Assembly is the supreme body of the RWOTA and is composed of all members. The power of general Assembly is as follows:
- To adopt and modify the constitution and y-laws of the organization
- To appoint and dismiss members of the administrative structures
- To decide upon the dissolution of the organization
- To admit, to change membership, to suspend or to exclude a member
- To approve the yearly accounts of the organization


The General Assembly is convened and headed by the Chairperson of the Executive Committee. In his/her absence, he/she shall temporarily be replaced by the Vice chairperson. If both are absent or if they are inactive and not initiating a General Assembly meeting, the General Assembly shall convene the meeting by written invitation, with the ¾ of full members present, temporary Chairperson shall be designated.


A general assembly shall meet at least once a year, in a general session. Invitation letters containing the agenda shall be transmitted to members at least thirty (30) days before the meeting. The general Assembly shall legally meet when2/3 of full members are present .In the case that that quorum is not reached, a second meeting shall be convened within fourteen (14) days. In the case, the second General Assembly shall sit and vote upon valid resolutions irrespective of the number of participants.


Extraordinary General Assembly meetings are convened any time as necessary, they are convened and headed with the same conditions with the ordinary general assembly. Without prejudice to article 15 of this constitution, the Extraordinary General assembly may be convened within 14 days’ notice, which can be reduced to days in the case of extreme urgent need. All debates should be limited to matters on the Agenda


The resolution of the general assembly shall be valid when adopted by absolute majority votes. If the votes are tied in the first round, a second round is commenced, in the case of tie votes again, the Chairperson vote is counted double.



The Executive committee is composed of four members;
- Chairperson
- Vice chairperson
- Treasurer
- Secretary


The elections of the Executive Committee members will be held in a secret ballot by General Assembly among full members to absolute majority votes. Alternative electronic ballots may be requested but are valid only if receiver and verified by the secretary before the meeting starts. Service for the Executive committee will be a maximum of two years, terms renewable once.


Chairperson: To chair the meetings and has access to all records of the association on request, has a final say in the event of a tie.
Vice Chairperson: To support the Chairperson and assume responsibilities’ in his/her absence
Secretary: To record meeting minutes, forward grievances to chairperson and keep all records of the organization.
Treasurer: Responsible for all funds of the organization and provides financial reports in both electronic and hard copy forms when appropriate.


The executive committee’s responsibilities’ are the following:
- To execute the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly
- To deal with day to day management of the organization
- To elaborate annual reports, budgets, provisions, and annual planning to submit for approval of the General Assembly
- To propose to the General Assembly all the amendments of the constitution and by-laws.



The Audit Committee is composed of three members. The General Assembly elects three internal auditors, two from full members and the third from either associate or honorary members. If necessary an external auditor is selected by the General Assembly by consensus vote. Membership is for two years, terms renewable. The first audit committee of the organization will have the first term of one year to avoid overlapping with the elections of the Executive committee. Responsibilities are to audit funds, manage and organize assets, and produce the annual reports. General Assembly with a copy to Executive Committee. The audit committee has all rights to access financial documents but may not move them to any other location.



The General Assembly elects 3 members among Effective Members:1) From founder members, second from adherents members, third one from the executive committee. Their responsibility is to resolve any conflict, which might arise in the organization when members fail to handle it amicably. The General Assembly may elect advisory members to the committee with a limited role to advice only. Their term limit is two years, renewable once. The committee meets as often as necessary and the decisions are made by majority consensus of its members.


The conflict management Committee is responsible for the prevention and resolution of any conflict that may arise within the organization. In the case that the committee fails to resolve a conflict to everyone’s satisfaction, the concerned party may file the case to an appropriate a court in Rwanda.