Local leaders have been urged to help children from historically marginalised families get formal education like other children so they can lead better lives.
The call was made on Thursday by the State Minister for Social Affairs, Dr Alivera Mukabaramba, while visiting historically marginalised people in Musanze District.
Mukabaramba said that despite government’s efforts to promote free primary and secondary education, children from historically marginalised families were not equally benefiting from the programme.
“Rwanda has promoted free basic education for all children and priority has been given to vulnerable ones who are entitled to free education up to university,” he said
She said the future of the country lies in education, adding that historically marginalised children should be helped to access education.
She challenged local leaders to remain close to historically marginalised people and encourage them to engage in activities that transform their lives.
Mukabaramba said the government recognises existing challenges but is working hard to ensure that historically marginalised citizens and other vulnerable groups lead better lives.
Hitorically marginalised people in the area said it is hard for them to take their children to school because of biting poverty.
“We have been supported and many of us now have houses. However, we still lack land to cultivate and capacity to take our children to school,” said Dativa Mukeshimana, 37, a mother of five.
“It is difficult to send a child to school knowing that they won’t have anything for lunch. Besides, we cannot afford to buy clothes and other scholastic materials for our children,” she added
In the past, historically marginalised people lived in forests as hunt-gatherers before the government resettled them in communities.
They also cited lack of clean water water, stigma and harassment from their neighbours. Some are yet to get decent housing.
Musanze mayor Winifride Mpembyemungu said the district, in partnership with development partners, are working closely to help transform lives of the historically marginalised.