Compassion started its programs in Rwanda in 1980, through some established Protestant Church primary schools. From 1980 to 1983 Compassion Rwanda had no Country Office. It was administered from the Area Office in Nairobi and the implementation of programs carried out through two denominations: Free Methodist Church of Rwanda (EMLR) and Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda (AEBR). In 1984, Compassion Rwanda Office was established and started partnership with Baptist Union of Churches of Rwanda (UEBR), Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR), Pentecostal Association of Churches of Rwanda (ADEPR) and Anglican Church of Rwanda (EAR). In 1988, Compassion Rwanda started moving from school programs to student centers. During this period Compassion had stopped its partnership with AEBR. By 1994, Compassion had two types of programs: student centers and meals programs. In the student centers, there were 49 projects with more than 11,000 children.
In 1994, Compassion began relief efforts in Rwanda following the worst tragedy of Tutsi Genocide in which more than 1 million people were killed and more than 1,400,000 children left unattended to.
Compassion Rwanda did not completely stop its activities during 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, but due to the then prevailing situation, it simply changed the system into Relief Aid mode. From May 1994, relief activities were being implemented in three unaccompanied children’s centers at Kageyo, Kayonza and Kibungo, plus the refugee camps of Byumba and Kibungo for all needy children.
Re-organization of the usual program activities started immediately after the war in early September 1994. From November 1994 to February 1995, Compassion managed to re-instate 25 student centers out of 49 that were in the country before the war and Tutsi Genocide. Compassion’s task was to look for children in former projects and effects updates on them. It also handled transfers of children whose families decided to move back to Rwanda from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. From March to May 1995, Compassion re-instated 10 more projects, making a total of 35 student centers. Thereafter, Compassion focused on internal growth and opening of new projects throughout the country.
Presently, Compassion International-Rwanda has partnership with 22 Evangelical denominations.
As of April 2019, the total number of ICPs in the country is 400 with 100,437 registered beneficiaries.