AEE Rwanda & Plan International are working together to share with the marginalized of Rwanda training on the importance of registering births and on protecting children against violence. Here is a short collections of stories about the effect this is having
Before the training, Jacqueline Niyitegeka who has two children did not know she needed to register her children with the government. The training has also helped her and her husband to work together as a couple in all areas and both are learning to listen and respect each other, and make decisions together
Vianna Nzabonimana is part of a performing arts youth group who perform dances, songs, and even theatre. It is through this venue that he has been to make the biggest impact by spreading the training he has received with neighbouring communities.
We were taught about gender based violence and violence against children and how to help someone who had been a victim. We were taught how to share what we had learned and ways to help combat gender based violence and violence against children in our communities.
We were also taught about children’s right and gender equality.
Jeanette Nyirasafari who is in grade 9 recently received training on child rights and gender based violence. Her and other where given the chance to talk to all 100 children in her village about what she has learnt. She know at least one child whose life was changed.
“There is a neighbour child whose parents used to refuse to feed her, they would say that only a working child deserves to eat. And she would go to neighbours to beg for food or even steal. But since that training the parents have changed. They realize that this is abuse, and the child now knows not to keep such abuse from authority and that if she reports abuse she will be heard”
Donatile Niwemugeni who is the is the president of the National Women Council in Rusenge Sector says we have learnt how to help those victims who speak out and tell us what has happened, we have programs to help those who we hear crying out in the middle of the night, but we are still looking for ways to help those women and children who feel they can’t raise their voice against the violence.
Mwamini Nyiramajyambere said after receiving the training she can see it is a child’s right to be registered as it is their right to be educated and be raised in a family. Registered children feel secure and valued in their families and count as important citizens of their country.
They know that someone is looking after them and have full access to education, healthcare, family’s inheritance, legal assistance when in need and everything else that a country provides to its citizens.
Joy Uwangabe is 16 and she will enter secondary 4 when school opens in a few weeks to come.
“I am worried that my parents have not registered me and my siblings. What I am most worried about is that I won’t be allowed to enter university because I don’t have a birth certificate. My parents said they will have us registered before I get back to school and I’m hoping it happens”
Winnie Mwizerwa is one of the youth trained. She said the training was very enlightening on issues regarding child rights, GBV and laws that promote equal opportunities to women and men.
“Today, I learned that there is a law that gives us girls same rights as our brothers when it comes to inheriting our parents belongs after they have passed away. We have also learned our role as the youth in fighting gender based violence, we are now committed to raising our voices to speaking out about violence and report these cases because they happen a lot in our homes or our neighbours’ households. Prevention is better than cure, that’s why we have to teach and change some people’s mindsets and report as early as possible behaviours that tend to harm children in any way before the damage is done”
Jacqueline Nikuze says her life had been transformed by the training and that it had become a testimony to other women in the village.
She now recognizes that the fights between her and her spouse were affecting the children. “They are grown so we now sit down and talk and discuss issues in the home instead of resorting to violence. This is because I also learned that living in such a household was also a form of violence against them. So, now we include them, and we provide a safe environment for them to grow up in. My husband and I have changed, and now we are taking time to change what we might have damaged in our children.”