First Lady Jeannette Kagame and her DR Congo counterpart, Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi, have pledged to work together through their organisations, to improve their people’s welfare.
The First Ladies made the vow on Sunday evening during an official dinner hosted by Mrs Kagame in Kigali. Also in attendance, were top government officials from both countries.
Mrs Tshisekedi is in the country since early Sunday, where she was welcomed at the border in Rubavu District by the Chief Gender Monitor Rose Rwabuhihi among other officials. Mrs Tshisekedi is on a two-day official visit at the invitation of First Lady Jeannette Kagame.
Mrs Kagame is the Chairperson of Imbuto Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the development of a healthy, educated and prosperous society.
Mrs Tshisekedi has also founded “Plus Fortes”, a foundation whose vision is to ensure a society where every woman is free, strong and valuable.
It also seeks to ensure the development of the people of Congo, especially women, through being innovative, professional with ethics as well as persevering in whatever they do.
Speaking at the dinner, Mrs Kagame welcomed her counterpart and her delegation, wishing them a joyous stay, in the hopes that they will come back to Rwanda in the future.
She said that Rwanda and DR Congo enjoy a long history and strong relationship despite challenges, and that there is a need to strengthen this relationship, now and in the future, for the benefit of the people of both countries.
“On the issue that concerns us more directly, I would like to salute your movement ‘Plus Fortes’, which echoes everything we promote at Imbuto Foundation, founded 18 years ago,” she said.
Imbuto Foundation has been dealing with issues such as promoting social protection programmes, maternal health and fighting early pregnancies, fighting gender based violence and school dropout rates among others.
“All these are major issues we have been trying to address over the years and our doors will always remain open for exchange of ideas and experience for our mutual initiatives in the mentioned areas,” she told Mrs Tshisekedi.
Mrs Tshisekedi hailed Imbuto Foundation for what it has achieved so far in areas of health promotion, fighting HIV & AIDS as well as supporting the vulnerable especially orphans and widows; initiatives that Africa needs enormously, and that are worth emulating.
“I am very impressed by your history; my vision through my foundation is based on issues including education, health and the fight against gender violence. I hope that in the future, our foundations can collaborate with to implement these projects,” she said.
“For us to keep valuing the woman and families in Africa we need to work together. Together as women we are strong, very strong,” she added.
Prior to dinner, both First Ladies watched a play called “We call it love” - the story of a woman and her son’s murder.
The play highlights the 100 days of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the silence of perpetrators and the reconstruction of a nation. It also questions the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Mrs Tshisekedi is today expected to visit Isange One Stop Centre at Kacyiru District Hospital, which takes care of victims of gender-based violence.