Bamporiki tips Gatsibo youth on volunteerism spirit

Standing in front of a new house handed over to a vulnerable family in Kiziguro. This is an achievement of members of youth volunteer community.

A community-based programme meant to occupy and educate primary and secondary students who are on holidays, known as ‘Intore mu Biruhuko’, was launched on Saturday in Gatsibo District.

The new Minister of State in Ministry of Youth and Culture, Edouard Bamporiki, who was present at the launch, encouraged parents to let their children attend the programme, that besides the knowledge they gain from there, it also helps protect them against idleness, which may lead them into bad habits.

“Our hopes are on Rwandans, young and old,” Bamporiki said adding that besides letting their children join the programme, parents must play an active role in the programme itself.

“When the President brought back the Itorero that had been stopped by the colonialists, he knew very well that no one can educate a child all by themselves,” he said.

“Whenever they return home (from Itorero), ask them what they have learned, make sure you track their activities,” he said.

Under the nationwide programme, students on holiday will be meeting two days a week at a place agreed upon by community members, and the meeting will be “only for a few hours”.

This is the third time the Intore mu Biruhuko programme is taking place.

Any interested experienced person with constructive advice to share with the youth is urged to contribute, according to Bamporiki.

“Parents, adult people and educators, let us protect these children if we want to sustain the progress our country is making,” he said.

Meanwhile, the programme is expected to benefit communities in different ways since the youth aged 12 and above will be doing Umuganda, or community work, to support vulnerable families, such as building houses for them.

For Bamporiki, who also said that that the programme is organised in a way that will not make the youth bored; “this is teaching by example”: “When you make a child do something, they learn in the process,” he described.

“When you teach a child to lay a brick, they are helping you because you needed it but they are also learning because they might need to make it for themselves someday,” he pointed out.

As part of the newly structured ministry, Bamporiki hinted on plans to reinforce the volunteerism spirit among youth to help vulnerable members of the community.

Under the new structure, the culture docket was carved from the Ministry of Sports and transferred to the Ministry of Youth, and Bamporiki was made state minister in the youth and culture ministry.

Prior to his appointment as state minister, he was the chairman of the National Itorero Commission.

“Volunteerism should be understood in a way that anyone without that spirit cannot even do anything for themselves because when you work for yourself, you do not ask somebody else to pay you,” he discussed, adding that messages will be especially passed through testimonies of those impacted by volunteering work.

Meanwhile, the national launch of the programme at Kiziguro, Gatsibo District, saw the inauguration of a house built by members of the youth volunteer community for a homeless family.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com