The First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, has urged the youth to uphold proper practices and values to ensure a better future for themselves and their country.
Mrs Kagame was speaking on Saturday at the opening of the annual holiday youth camp for secondary school students supported by her charity organisation, Imbuto Foundation.
Over 900 boys and girls sponsored by the Foundation through its Scholarship Project are attending the camp hosted in Huye District.
She said that by investing in the youth, Imbuto Foundation was giving its contribution towards efforts to empower the youth and prepare them to become productive citizens who will drive the country’s future to success.
“We believe that the youth must be trained and shaped to equip them with needed skills to give them the capacity, ability and will to work for their nation,” Mrs Kagame said.
She said the youth camp is an occasion to assess the students’ performance and provide advises to those who didn’t excel as well as provide them with other life advices.
It is also an opportunity for Imbuto scholarship holders to meet, exchange ideas and come up with strategies to excel at school, she noted.
She told the students that they are the masters of their future and urged them to own it-telling them: “The time to act is now”.
“Work hard [and] learn from your age-mates and other citizens who are making a big difference within their communities. Be guided by objectives, set your targets and know how to attain them using the right channels; read books, be curious, be critical-minded, work to innovate and don’t fear to be agent of positive change,” Mrs Kagame advised.
“Know the potential you have in yourself; discover and exploit your talents. Respect your parents because they have a unique valuable experience to share with you and follow school regulations,” she added.
She went on to advise the youth to shun drug abuse “because we see in you a big potential for our nation.”
“If you attain all these, I have no doubt you will transform this country and make it a source of inspiration and admiration for other nations,” Mrs Kagame observed.
The Minister of State in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education Olivier Rwamukwaya thanked Imbuto Foundation for its contribution towards promoting quality education and for the support extended to students.
He said as Rwanda aspires to become a knowledge-based economy, contributing to promoting excellence among students was a key contribution towards reaching the target.
Every year, Imbuto Foundation sponsors hundreds of students in secondary schools across the country. Those who benefit from the scholarship are from vulnerable families that cannot afford tuition fees but with good grades and who are disciplined, according to officials.
The scholarship, which is over 10 years old, has so far supported over 6,000 boys and girls, according to official figures.