Improving Children’s Rights in Rwanda
We are improving respect for the rights of nearly 84,000 children in Rwanda by raising awareness and training 2’000 local leaders.
This project aims to improve and protect Children’s Rights in Rwanda by creating routine child protection reflexes in adults and reducing domestic violence, strengthening the community in its role of psychosocial support of the individual, promote community resilience and improve the mental health of children and parents.
The project at a glance
Location: Rwanda (4 regions: Kamonyi, Ruhango, Nyanza et Gatsibo)
Partner: AVSI (Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale)
Beneficiaries: 2,000 local leaders (direct) / 84,000 Rwandan children (indirect)
Years: 2017 – 2019
CONTEXT AND ISSUES
In 1994, genocide profoundly affected Rwandans: more than one million people were massacred, including 300,000 children.
90% of surviving children have been exposed to atrocities to a degree never seen before. As parents, these unexpressed traumas persist on a daily basis and their children are now the first victims of domestic violence.
Although various child-protection laws have been passed, local community leaders have a limited understanding of their role in improving the situation of children in their country. Moreover, due to lack of skills, some of their approaches sometimes go against the best interests of the child.
Our project thus makes it possible to overcome these shortcomings and to permanently establish a better protection of children in order to stop the cycle of violence resulting from the trauma of 1994 and to ensure, for future generations, a peaceful family environment.
The government, through the National Commission for Children, has set a goal to strongly strengthen the protection of the rights of the child in Rwanda from 2016 to 2019. We work closely with them and some members participate in the project.
OUR SOLUTION AND ITS RELEVANCE
After a successful pilot phase in 2015 our project “Improving Children’s Rights in Rwanda” started in August 2017. With an innovative approach conceived by us and still unknown to the humanitarian sector, we intend to mobilize the community to create an environment conducive to the development of children.
Each session of workshops allows Humanium team to identify specific local challenges, such as early marriages or the growing number of teenage mothers. The team thus adapts its tools for the next sessions based on what has come up in the previous ones.
You can watch a short video made during the pilot phase of the project:
In order to provide a lasting basis for the better protection of children, Humanium has developed an innovative approach combining coaching and leadership techniques based on a set of interdisciplinary tools designed by trauma care professionals to train all those who provide psychological and social support to families.
The trauma healing workshops combine coaching and leadership skills as well as exercises and role-playing games.
The content is created from the local context with the help of AVSI social workers and psychologists. Our intervention therefore reinforces the existing social structures and ensures better psychosocial support for parents and children.
MEASURABLE AND LASTING IMPACT
This project allows participants to remember how they used to feel as children and to share it with the group. They learn to understand and distinguish their own and communal emotional words, and to what extent they are influenced by childhood memories. They understand that in the here and now, the circle of violence, experienced in childhood is still in them.
Being aware of this, they naturally decide to act to change the situation. During the pilot phase of the project, the participants spontaneously pledged to do their utmost to move their country from red to green according to Humanium’s children’ rights map.
This Humanium programme has worked with more than 1,800 leaders who can now reach out to an estimated number of 82,000 children. We will continue our efforts until the end of the year and we always need more help to achieve our goals.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO IMPROVE TOGETHER CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN RWANDA !
You can DONATE HERE to change children’s lives and provide them with a brighter future !
Last updated: February 2019