WOMEN should leverage their previleged position of being the heartbeat of every household to promote the ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ programme in their respective families. The call was made by different officials on Wednesday at the opening of a nationwide campaign to involve women in promoting the Ndi Umunyarwanda programme which aims at building a society based on trust. The campaign, championed by the National Women Council, was launched in Cyuve Sector, Musanze District. Speaking at the event, Henriette Umulisa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion said women have a role to play in promoting, Rwandan values that the ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ concept represents. Umulisa said many Rwandans look at themselves through the ethnic lenses and this does not help the country achieve its development agenda. “Let’s promote the Ndi Umunyarwanda programme. As women we need to take the lead and educate our children about patriotism and hard work,” Umulisa said. She urged them to share knowledge from the workshop, noting that once women play their role, Rwandan children will grow up as responsible citizens and abhor anything that promotes disunity. The Northern Province Governor, Aime Bosenibamwe, in a keynote address, explained the Ndi Umunyarwanda concept, taking the participants through the pre-colonial period where Rwandans lived harmoniously but were later divided along ethnic lines by the colonial masters. “You are the strength of the Rwandan society,” he said. Domitille Iribagiza, one of the participants, said she was committed to promoting Ndi Umunyarwanda both in her home and the neighbourhood. “We need a strong and united society. This cannot be achieved unless we open up and educate our children and neighbours about unity and hard work,” she said. UN Women commends programme Diana L. Ofwona, UN Women country representative, said involving women in Ndi Umunyarwanda was a strategic move owing to the role they play in families and communities. “This is a very important programme for cohesion and development, and women play a central role in all these,” Ofwona said. She added: “I am impressed and I look at this as a programme that will cement the social fabric of Rwanda,” Ofwona said. The campaign was organised by the National Women Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Unity Club, the Prime Minister’s Office, One-UN, among others.