Rwanda National Police (RNP), Society for Family Health (SFH) Rwanda and the Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing Organisation (RYVCPO) have signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding to strengthen awareness in security and hygiene.
The agreement was signed yesterday at the Police headquarters in Kacyiru.
ACP Damas Gatare, commissioner for community policing, signed on behalf of Police, Manasseh Gihana Wandera, executive director of SFH Rwanda signed on behalf of his organisation while Justus Kangwagye, signed on behalf of RYVCPO.
The signing ceremony was presided over by the Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka flanked by the Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana and Inspector General of Police, IGP Emmanuel. K Gasana.
Under the agreement, Police and SFH Rwanda committed to reinforce activities of youth volunteers, who will spearhead behavioral change in communities towards sustainable security, health and hygiene.
SFH Rwanda will partly, avail its health and hygiene products and services to the youth including Interpersonal communication (IPC) sessions, promotional materials, to aid them in their awareness campaigns to ensure a crime free environment and healthy communities.
Minister Kaboneka noted that although Rwanda is a safe country, drug abuse, injustice by some people and hygiene issues still exist and have to be addressed urgently.
“Drug abuse can be a threat to the youth and ultimately to the nation, and so is unhygienic communities. Rwanda belongs to you and this country expects a lot from you,” Minister Kaboneka told the youth.
“Rwanda has become one of the safest countries globally due to such concerted efforts and we have no doubt that this partnership will drive it further through timely information to facilitate crime prevention and detection,”
Manasseh Gihana, the executive director SFH, said the partnership is quite critical because it has attracted energetic youth whose population is estimated to grow up to one million in the next one year.
“They will be our facilitators… our peer educators, who will go down to the grassroots level to teach, educate, mobilise and sensitise the public towards living in a hygienic environment and elimination of malnutrition, we thank the Government for giving us this opportunity to contribute to our national development."
Malnutrition, Gihana said, is still a big problem is Rwanda adding that it is “mostly about behavior and practices” that such organised youth, when “well equipped can be agents of change towards elimination of malnutrition.”
Kangwagye, the coordinator of RYVCPO, on his part, said as the youth organisation, their “voices and actions in this campaign will roar down to the grassroots level” but called upon the civil society to utilise the power of the youth if their targets are to be effectively met.
Police believe hygiene, health and security are closely linked because safety begins with individual's survival.
"Promotion of people's well being effectively leads crime prevention and this is what community policing is all about,” Police spokesman ACP Celestin Twahirwa said.
"Our major role is to train YVCPO, coordinate with them and SFH in the implementation of this MOU and furtherance of the human security activities they are to undertake. “
This MoU comes to reinforce the existing partnership between Police and RYVCO enshrined in an agreement signed in May last year to formalise their partnership in community awareness and fight against crimes through promotion of community safety and realising the idea of human security a tradition.