Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (Rwamrec) in partnership with PLAN Rwanda has launched a campaign that seeks to enlist male students in fighting sexual and gender-based violence in their respective schools.
The campaign, dubbed ‘Boys4change’ has seen model clubs created in schools to champion the cause.
The project also aims at engaging boys in changing misguided masculine behaviours and norms that contribute toward gender-based violence in the countly.
Launched last year, the project is, so far, mainly active in schools in Nyaruguru District, but has partnerships with 41 schools in Gatsibo and Bugesera districts, according to Silas Ngayaboshya, the project coordinator.
The project managers met different stakeholders yesterday for a consultative meeting aimed at presenting the achievements of the programme thus far, and devising measures of rolling it out in other schools.
Ngayaboshya said the project initially targeted only boys but later enlisted females as well.
“Many boys have a negative attitude toward girls whereby they only look at them as sex partners (lovers). They (boys) also think that house chores are a preserve of their sisters.
These are the stereotypes we are trying to do away with,” Ngayaboshya said.
Eric Nshimiyimana, a student from Nyaruguru, testified how he never really valued girls before just because his father had always denied his sisters education, claiming that education is not for girls and instead sent them to the farm to dig as the boys went to school.
But after the campaign reached his school, he has since gone on to convince his father to change his attitude.
“We now do the chores together and my elder sister, whom my father had made drop out of school, this year resumed classes,” Nshimiyimana said.