By Mudingu Joseph
For almost 100 years, Save the Children has been making a difference in children’s lives in more than 120 countries as the world’s leading independent organization for children, with a vision of a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
Save the Children has been working in Rwanda since 1994, and, in the immediate aftermath of the Genocide, helped trace parents or relatives of thousands of children who had become separated from their families. Since then, the organization has been working in partnership with the government and local stakeholders to promote a bright future for Rwanda’s children.
Currently, the organization is implementing development programs in the thematic areas of Education, Child Protection, Child Rights Governance, Health and Nutrition. In addition to development programs, it is also supporting the humanitarian response following the influx of Burundian refugees in Rwanda.
Since 2013, Save the Children has been implementing an innovative education program in Rwanda which is currently operational in 5 districts. Save the Children believes that being able to read is the foundation for all future learning. Ensuring that children master this skill early is essential as it paves the way for their ongoing learning, decrease the number of children dropping out of school early and reduce inefficiencies in the education system.
The program provides a continuum of services for children aged 0-9 years, focused on supporting emergent and early grade literacy to ensure all children who leave school are able to read by offering interventions in both schools and communities, and working with stakeholders to increase the quality, quantity and range of age appropriate, Kinyarwanda children’s books.
Save the Children believes that school and home settings should be free from violence, to allow children to develop their potential and gain self-esteem. Save the children is implementing a program that promotes positive discipline in early childhood care and development centers and primary schools, in partnership with Burera District. The project supports teachers, early childhood care and development care givers, children, parents-teachers associations’ members and local leaders to use positive forms of discipline with children, focusing on the promotion of better parenting and problem solving with children, as to prevent conflict.