Association Enfant Chez Soi, a local child rights organisation, yesterday launched a nursery school program for children living in prisons with their incarcerated mothers.
The launch was presided over by the Commissioner General of Prisons, Mary Gahonzire, at Kigali Central Prison, commonly known as 1930.
Speaking at the event, Gahonzire hailed the association for the initiative which she said was on the right track towards restoration of rights of the children.
According to the law, female inmates are allowed to stay with their children up to the age of three, when they are taken back to their families or orphanages.
“This program is vital because it will prevent these innocent children from staying inside prisons with their mothers,” Gahonzire said.
The nursery school, despite being on prison premises will allow children enjoy environments outside their mothers’ cells.
“Children who grow up in prisons suffer a lot since they do not get enough care, therefore these nursery schools will help in providing the required care to the children until the age of three,” she said.
In the nurseries, the children will be taken care of during day by nannies employed by the organization and returned to their mothers in the evening.
Gahonzire further thanked the government of Rwanda, especially the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, for supporting the initiative.
According to Gloriose Mukanzanire, the president of the association, this program will improve the standards of living of the children in terms of education, health and nutrition.
“We established that children who live with their mothers in prisons do not get enough care; they suffer poor health, which is why we decided to come up with the idea of having these nurseries in all prisons,” she noted.
In an interview with The New Times, Winnie Umurerwa one of the inmates with children, said that this was a great opportunity for her child to get access to education.