Kirehe District – October 11, 2017 | The One UN Rwanda Resident Coordinator Mr. Fode Ndiaye has called for enhanced leveraging of opportunities made available by ICT to ensure families make better decisions for their well being.
Mr. Ndiaye uttered the words while addressing throngs of residents of Kirehe District, who had gathered to witness celebrations to mark the International Day of the Girl Child, which also doubled as the International Rural Women’s Day and the launch of the 16 Days of activism and the National Family Campaign.
Speaking at the event, which was presided over by the First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame, the UNRC commended the Government of Rwanda, under the leadership of His Excellency President Paul Kagame, for its concerted efforts in championing gender equality at all levels, and “walking the talk” in advancing women’s rights.
He also saluted the Rwandan women and girls who are positively influencing the country’s path to development.
“Today, we are here to commend the women who wake up before dawn to cater for the immediate and long term needs of the family through farming and other activities; we are here to commend the unique contribution of these women in building strong and resilient families and communities” he said.
Noting that “Umusongogero w’isi ni umubano” (The world makes no sense without friendship), Mr. Ndiaye pledged to continue the successful partnership between the Government of Rwanda and the One UN Rwanda family, to ensure that the campaigns launched will “impulse the needed changes that will unleash the potential of rural women, girls and families as key actors for change”.
First Lady Jeanette Kagame, while delivering the keynote address during the event, on her part chose the occasion to highlight the need to couple good governance with programs to boost family wellbeing and general welfare of the family.
“All programs for enhancing social welfare start with family, that’s why we say the family is the basis of all.”
“It is necessary that we care for every Rwandan health with a wider perspective, good governance and family and health programs go together. One can’t succeed without the other, that’s the direction our country’s leadership took,” she added.
She also highlighted the need for parents set time aside to talk to their children, in order to educate them and prepare them for the challenges that await teenage girls especially in today’s society.
“Let’s find time to talk about our children’s education, let’s provide them with all they need to grow and study well,” she said.
She explained that talking to girls and listening to their concerns would help parents discover gaps in their sexual health knowledge and prevent occurrence of early and unwanted pregnancies. The first lady also opened early child development center that was established by parents, in Karambi village, with the support the Anglican Church.
The center provides services for child growth, up to three years. She requested that such centers be increased, since they don’t cost much and have significant contribution to the child and family stability.
During the ceremony, children under five years old were given milk as a symbol of promoting healthy nutrition and growth as part of children rights. Children with physical disabilities were given wheel chairs that will facilitate their movement. Children were also vaccinated from measles, given Mebendazole and Vitamin A. In line with supporting families, poor families received cows as part of the Girinka –One Cow per poor family program.
To much applause and fanfare, women and girls who have directly benefitted from the Government’s gender promotion drive were given a moment to speak, including Claudine who overcame tremendous odds to become an electrical engineer, a normally male-dominated field, and Mrs. Mukamusoni, who started off selling vegetables in the market and earning Rwf500 of profit a day, but leveraged support from her husband and local credit and savings schemes to now proudly own and operate a cement and construction company with assets valued at well over 12 million Rwandan Francs.
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Nyirasafari Esperance, also present for the festivities, said that the Campaign will last for two months countrywide and the planned activities are dedicated to the promotion of health services, services rendered to citizens, positive parenting, child rights protection, women and girls empowerment ad the fight against Gender Based Violence.