FAWE mentorship programme encourages girls to stay in schools

Some of the group members taking part in the discussions. Joan Mbabazi.

FAWE Rwanda in partnership with Mastercard Foundation organised an open air mentoring program for women and girls.

The main purpose of the occasion was to enable the female gender to openly speak out the problems they face at school and home and draft means of solving and avoiding them.

The event took place on Friday, December 7, at Kimisagara One stop Youth employment and productive centre.

The theme of the day was; “Say no to child defilement in support of girls’ education”.

“Since we are in the period of 16 Days of Activism, this is a chance we have to discuss about five important issues faced by both women and girls, which include; Gender based violence, school dropouts, parenting, early pregnancies, and drug abuse,” said Josephine Kobusingye, FAWE Rwanda program officer.

She added that 150 girls aged between 11 and 17 years and 60 mothers from Nyarugenge were chosen by local leaders to represent others so that they transfer the ideas to other members of society knowledge learnt from the training.

During the training, women and girls were divided into five groups where each group had a topic to discuss. Everyone was given a chance to air out problems they usually face, identified their causes and gave ideas on how to solve them.

Every group was coordinated by two FAWE alumni and each had a representative, who, after the discussion, presented their problems and solutions to the audience. Whoever had a question, contribution and guidance was given a chance to participate.

Kobusingye further said that this training was aimed at mentoring students and find solutions to reduce the percentage of school dropouts, drug abuse, early pregnancies among other issues that girls face in Rwanda.

In order to stop or reduce drug abuse, the women and girls said that there should be sensitisation about the dangers of abusing drugs; those addicted to drugs be taken to rehabilitation centres and heavy penalties given to those who supply the drugs.

They also noted that forming anti-drug clubs could help to sensitise youths about the dangers of drug abuse, however, they called upon the government to increase the number of rehabilitation centres.

The selected women and girls were from six sectors of Nyarugenge District, which included; Muhima, Gitega, Kimisagara, Rwezamenyo, Nyakabanda, and Nyarugenge.

Teta Kayitaba, FAWE Rwanda Alumni Network chairperson, said that the main purpose of the mentoring programme is to keep girls in school complete their studies and get jobs and live a good life.

“We want to change the mindset of the people of thinking that local leaders are the ones to always solve their problems. If one knows the cause of a certain problem, then they can be able to eradicate it. It is for this reason, therefore, that they are given chance to identify problems and solutions themselves,” she added.