EDITORIAL: Parents are the first line of defence in a child's future

The Theme for the just-concluded Children’s Summit, “Positive Parenting: Foundation of the Rwanda we want”, is definitely food for thought. A child’s future is premised upon the domestic situation prevailing in the home; chaos creates a chaotic future.

When an 11-year old suggests that domestic violence should be on top of the agenda of the summit,that should be enough to sound alarm bells that not all is well in some families.

A dysfunctional family unit will have dire consequences on a child’s wellbeing and will inform how it will evolve.

Gender Based Violence is the major reason for many breakups and a major contributor to the street children phenomenon. Many take refuge on the streets to escape the unbearable conditions in their homes, neglect and absentee parents.

Streets are breeding grounds for petty delinquents, who, if left alone, will graduate into hardcore criminals. Authorities have always been threatening to go after street children’s parents but little seems to have come out of the threats. It is time they made good the threats.

Youth are an integral part in the country’s development equation and that is why the government has invested heavily in their welfare.

It is not a coincidence that the children summit was held back-to-back with Imbuto Foundation’s “Beyond This Moment Youth Summit” and the Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers (CYRWA) Awards. But all the good youth programmes will not replace the foundational itinerary a child goes through at home, they only come to complement parents’ roles.