Three Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are set to benefit from Rwf1.15 billion funding from the European Union (EU) to support labour rights, social dialogue and access to sexual and reproductive health rights. The grant, signed on Tuesday December 8, is designed to support CSOs in their fight to end sexual and gender-based violence and promote workers’ in the labour market. “The EU wants to help support the creation of a vibrant and independent civil society which participates, in a meaningful and structured way in key decisions and policies in Rwanda and help implement projects that will address the issues identified in the proposals,” said Nicola Bellomo, the EU Ambassador to Rwanda. According to a statement by the EU, part of the funding, which was channelled through Action Aid Rwanda, will help to implement a project aimed at promoting and protecting the sexual and reproductive rights of teenage girls and vulnerable young people. Specifically, it will focus on increasing knowledge, access to appropriate health services and combatting sexual and gender-based violence in Gasabo and Karongi districts. “We believe that empowering girls with knowledge, support and ability to demand their rights, to take control over their bodies and to make their own informed decisions is a fundamental step to addressing gender-based violence,” said Josephine Irene Uwamariya, Country Director of ActionAid Rwanda. Other beneficiaries include the Spanish Red Cross (Cruz Roja Española), which will focus on preventing teenage pregnancy—and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES Rwanda)—which will implement a project that will aim at promoting social dialogue by restoring the balance between employers and trade unions. Vito Chimienti, Spanish Red Cross Delegate to Rwanda said that the fund will help them improve the capacity of local and national health systems. Over 8,500 adolescents who are facing social, availability, affordability and quality barriers to access sexual and reproductive health and rights services and contraception are expected to benefit from the project, the statement says. Oliver Dalichau, Resident Representative of FES Rwanda, said that they will work with trade unions to strengthen social dialogue in the coming years. “Sustainable development everywhere in the world goes hand in hand with respect for workers’ rights, good working conditions, and a fair minimum wage, which are guarantees of social justice,” he said.