YWCA Rwanda joined the rest of the international community in celebrating the International day of the girl child on October 11 2017. The day aimed at highlighting and addressing the needs and challenges girl’s face as well as promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. YWCA celebrated the day in Nyaruguru, Bugesera and Kayonza districts. In Bugesera, celebrations took place at school level where YWCA is implementing supporting girl’s future through education and financial education training project. The schools include; GS Mwendo, GS Nyabagendwa and Nyamata Catholic. The main focus was on promoting girl’s rights and empowering them to envision the future young girls want in form of drawings.

In Nyaruguru district, YWCA partnered with Plan International and Nyaruguru district authorities to celebrate the International day of the girl child. The theme for the celebrations was Twubake u Rwanda twifuza Twita ku burera bw’abana mu muryango which literally means shaping the Rwanda we want as we care for the upbringing of children in our families. The celebration took place in Munini sector, Ngarurira cell in Ngarurira village. YWCA Rwanda in partnership with Plan International is implementing the Girls Safe Schools project in three schools namely G.S Bunge, G.S Runyinya and G.S Kamana in Nyaruguru District. During the celebrations, students from the 3 schools were accompanied by their mentors to take part in the celebrations. Students from the leadership clubs used this platform to showcase how they have been empowered through the saving, SRHR and leadership skills.

Uwineza Grace a 14 year old girl at GS Kanama in S2 A and also a member of the Terimbere leadership club testified how the club activities had empowered them. She asserted that with the support from the mentors and peer educators, they have been able to learn more about their body changes and the risks that can come along with these changes and how these can be managed to avoid teen pregnancies. She further asserted that financial education has equipped them with skills that will help them develop. “Equipment of the girl’s rooms has given us an assurance of attending school”. Asserted grace.

Muhorakeye Marie Claire a 15 year old girl studying at GS Runyinya in S2 recited a poem that mainly focused at showcasing how girl safe school project has empowered them.

In her remarks, Ndinawemufasha Providence a representative from Plan International urged the participants to join hands in fighting teenage pregnancies in the district. She encouraged parents who have teen mothers to give them a chance of going back to school.

The local leaders were called upon to ease the birth registration processes for the children born by teen mothers.

The chief guest who was the Mayor of Nyaruguru district also emphasized the need to work hand in hand to end early pregnancies in the community. He urged parents to take care of their children day by day and give them support. He thanked the entire stakeholder for the great efforts undertaken in promoting the rights of the girl’s rights.

The event was a platform for to reaffirm the importance of promoting the rights of the girl child and to identify where efforts need to be put.