Umuhuza, a non-governmental organisation that strives to promote a culture peace and enhance the positive socio-economic transformation of communities , in partnership with Bank of Kigali, is sponsoring 180 teen mothers in Ruhango District to join Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The sponsorship is provided under a six-month project titled, ‘Wiceceka” which aims to engage the community to set clear strategies for the social-economic reintegration of teen mothers through community awareness campaigns on gender-based violence, inter-generational dialogues on positive parenting and sponsoring teen mothers to resume their studies in TVET Schools and start income generating activities. Beneficiaries are teen mothers from Kinazi, Ntongwe, and Ruhango sectors. Ahead of the 16 Days of Activism to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence, on December 6th and 7th , Umuhuza Organisation with the support of Bank of Kigali conducted a two-day drive under ‘Wiceceka’ project to raise awareness on the prevention of gender-based violence by breaking the culture of silence. The drive took place in Ruhango and Kinazi sectors. The Manager of Bank of Kigali’s Ruhango Branch, Marine Kankindi, says that as we observe the 16 days of Activism against GBV, we should avoid ‘keeping it a secret’ when our children are abused and report all the perpetrators that we know. Kankindi says that violence happens within families, and neighbours turn a blind eye which is unfortunate as this tragedy will take collaboration to end. Christian Shyaka, Umuhuza’s representative, says, “There is a need to break the silence over GBV, in our families, schools, and workplace and we all need to play our role in this.” Shyaka says that there shouldn’t only be awareness during these 16 days, rather a society free from GBV should be a lifestyle, adding that children are most likely to be victims of violence if there is violence in their own families. He urges families to work together to fight GBV, adding that a family should be a safe space for parents and children and a place to get the right information. Head of Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) in Ruhango District, Samuel Nzasabimana, says that families are a foundation of the country, adding that that’s why the government has a role to protect society through implementing laws that protect families, most especially women and children. “GBV is not handled through mediation, and that is why we shouldn’t stay silent and report wrongdoers,” Nzasabimana says. Nzasabimana adds that GBV comes with long-term side effects, and this is one of the major reasons to not stay silent and report wrongdoers. He also reminds people that this is all punishable. Alphonsine Mukangenzi, Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Ruhango, says that families that have parents who drink uncontrollably are most likely to face GBV, especially women and children. “We should not hide perpetrators as this hinders justice. We need to report them since that is the way to curb GBV, and as ‘Wiceceka’ suggests, you shouldn’t be silent if you hear neighbours fighting, call the police immediately and report,” she says. ‘Wiceceka’ hopes to raise awareness on the prevention and elimination of gender-based violence by breaking the silence.