Representatives of Civil society organisations and the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotions, will today meet in Kigali to discuss the role of the former in caring for vulnerable children.
The meeting is hosted by Uyisenga Ni Imanzi and Family For Every Child—both organisations dedicated to improving the welfare of vulnerable children.
The event is being held under the theme, “Caring for our Children: An International Dialogue on Kinship Care and Child Protection Systems.”
In a statement, organisers said whereas Rwandan government is committed to child protection and reducing the number of children growing up in institutional care, there is still more to be done especially to encourage kinship care, among other child care practices.
“At the event, the internationally diverse members of Family for Every Child, who are all experts in working with vulnerable children will share their firsthand experiences of supporting kinship care in their countries,” reads part of the statement.
Experts from Brazil and South Africa will share lessons learned that can be used to protect (vulnerable children) in Rwanda and everywhere, according to the statement.
Family for Every Child is a global alliance of local civil society organisations working together to improve the lives of vulnerable children around the world.
Uyisenga Ni Imanzi is a local organisation working with orphaned children and young adults who now head their respective households having lost their parents to either 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi or HIV/AIDS.
The panel discussion will offer fascinating insights into similar challenges and success stories by organisations across the world who are working to secure better care for vulnerable families, according to organisers.
Available figures indicate that 1.1 per cent of children in Rwanda are orphans, while 9.1 per cent have lost one parent.
Between 2012 and 2013, over 4,000 chidren in Rwanda were growing up without protection of a loving family, either in residential facilities, temporary shelters or detention centres.
The executive secretary of Uyisenga Ni Imanzi, Chaste Uwihoreye, said: “We know the best place for children to grow up and thrive is with the loving family. We can do more to ensure that children have access to that basic right.
“This even could bring about real hope and permanent, positive change for children in Rwanda who are growing up alone with little hope for positive future.”
The government has over the recent past taken bold steps to phase out childcare centres prefering to place the orphans under the care of foster parents as a way to intergrate them in mainstream society and instilling moral values in them.