Women in Murundi Sector, Karongi District will have more time to spend at work than home caring for children following the inauguration of a new early childhood development centre in the area.
The facility, inaugurated last week, was built by Action Aid International Rwanda to help women save time spent looking after their children at home, one of the barriers to the development of rural women.
The facility receives children aged 3 up to 6.
Since the beginning of this academic year, at least 120 children have been enrolled at the centre.
Jean Baptiste Tuyisabe, the head teacher, said area residents and those from neighbouring sectors have started benefiting from the facility.
Children are brought to school in the morning where caregivers look after them until 5pm which enables mothers to engage in other development activities that contribute to the development of family and country as well, said Tuyisabe.
Children are equipped with basic knowledge including arithmetic and reading, sanitation, discipline and learn how to interact with other children.
Women would spend much time monitoring and feeding children. But currently they are not worried about time because they are free to do other activities, the head teacher said.
Viateur Rukundo, the chairperson of Parents, Teachers Association (PTA), said women are now able to spend more time at work following the inauguration of the new facility.
‘‘Some families’ incomes in rural areas are low because men are the sole bread winners; women have the ability to work too, but they lack time,’’ Rukundo said.
He thanked Action Aid, appealing for more classrooms to be built to increase enrolment.
Jean Baptiste Bikorimana, the in charge of Early Childhood Development Centres and primary schools in Karongi, said such facilities play a big role in preparing infants of different ages for other education levels with basic knowledge and discipline.
Emmanuel Muhire, the executive secretary of Karongi District, challenged the beneficiaries to protect, and take advantage of the centre.
“It is not usual to have sponsors bringing projects in rural areas. This is a chance you should, maximise. There are so many sectors that did not get such a chance. You should therefore, make a difference,” Muhire said.
He asked parents to think about how they can expand infrastructure at the centre without waiting for support from Action Aid.
“We need to uplift families. Women and men are going to join hands in all activities unlike previously when women would spend time looking after children,” he added.
Josephine Uwamariya, Action Aid International Rwanda country director, said empowering women is key to development of family as well as the country.
“Women are the heart of the family and the pillars of a country’s development. Women would not be able to contribute enough to the family and country if their work was limited to looking after children and households,” she said.
No any other way poverty can be reduced without empowering women, she added.
Action Aid International Rwanda (AAIR) is a country programme of Action Aid that aims at eradicating poverty and injustice, with focus on tackling the root causes of poverty rather than just meeting the people’s immediate needs.