By A. K. Otiti
AS part of the activities for the ongoing Women and Girls’ Month, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Hon. Aloisea Inyumba, visited Lycee de Kigali, a city secondary school on March 15, 2012. This meeting was organised by the Girl Hub producers of the Ni Nyampinga magazine and radio show. The Ni Nyampinga is a programme designed to encourage teenage girls throughout the country to know their worth and to nurture them as future leaders.
Hon. Inyumba told the students that the leadership of Rwanda appreciates them and is committed to them and is counting on them for the future leadership of the country. Speaking to the girls, specifically, the Minister encouraged them to believe in themselves, consider all things possible and know that only the sky is the limit. She emphasised that it is very important for girls to be confident and know that they can do as much as the boys can and to stand up and speak out. She added that, in Rwanda, the girls have the same opportunities as the boys and they should take these opportunities and excel.
In a question and answer session, Hon. Inyumba encouraged the students not only to ask questions but to express their desires and give suggestions of what they would like to see happening in their country. She explained to the students the national structures in place to ensure that views from the children are heard and that the children take part in contributing to the decisions that affect their lives. She encouraged the students to be part of these mechanisms and be aware of what is taking place in the country. She informed them that the Chamber of Deputies has two youth representatives voted for by the youth, and that the National Children’s Commission was set up to ensure that their views are heard, also has children’s representatives from the grassroots. The Ministry of Youth is also an indication that Rwanda considers her children as an important part of the government, she added.
She encouraged the students to be part of the extracurricular clubs in schools that help them to grow as individuals and keep them from getting involved in malpractices (such as drug abuse and premature sex) that would shorten their education and destroy their lives. She exhorted the students to be determined, work hard and be disciplined in order to achieve the goals they set. She added that with the positive political will, support and valuable opportunities, today’s generation was set to reach even greater heights.
In response to the students’ concern for youth who have not gone to school, the Minister challenged the students to share their knowledge and make an investment of their time in the lives of those who have not had the opportunities they have had. She said holiday time should be spent making the lives of the less privileged in the villages better. She assured the students that the priority of the government was that all Rwandan children should receive an education but for those who have not been able to, economic empowerment was also a priority and that efforts were being made to ensure that all families are facilitated to make investments and prosper.
Hon. Inyumba assured the students that the leadership of Rwanda loves them and is committed to providing them with the opportunities they need to achieve the goals they set for themselves and so participate in building their homeland.