The Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka, has said that the youth have a major role in shaping the destiny of their country and appealed to them to partner with security agencies to develop the country.
He said this Friday while officiating at the opening of a three-day retreat of 87 district coordinators of Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing (RYVCP), and District police Community Liaison Officers (DCLOs) at the Rwanda National Police General Headquarters in Kacyiru.
The retreat seeks to strengthen partnership and capacity of youth volunteers and liaison officers in crime prevention.
The minister noted that volunteers and DCLOs play a significant role in ensuring public safety.
“We have witnessed this through cases reported and crimes stopped before happening. You took a decision of dedicating your efforts towards crime prevention – it is a right decision you made and your country is proud of you,” said Kaboneka.
He went on to remind them that they were not only serving their nation but making it a better place for all.
The minister gave reference to 2015 Gallup Global Emotions Report that ranked Rwanda as the safest place to walk at night in Africa and 5th globally.
“This was achieved because of your effects but you can’t settle for this. We have to multiply our efforts until we lead the global table.”
The Minister challenged both youth volunteers and DLCOs to be patriotic, dedicated, hardworking, disciplined and honest at all times in order to win public trust
“If anyone misses out on any of the values, then it will be difficult for you to achieve your goals”.
He urged them to put more efforts in fighting crimes like radicalisation, drug abuse, gender based violence and human trafficking.
“This training should be a forum for you to learn more how best you can address these issues,” Kaboneka said.
The training is part of the implementation of the existing agreement between RNP and RYVCP which binds both parties to partner in community awareness and fight against crimes through promotion of community safety and human security.
During the three-day training, participants will tackle various areas including role of the youth volunteers in crime prevention, fighting corruption, human trafficking, drug abuse, gender violence and reinforcing the ongoing security and hygiene campaign, among others.
Justus Kangwagye, the Coordinator of RYVCP said: “Our ambition is to have a crime free society and to achieve that, we must seal our partnership with our stakeholders but also ensure that we are always ahead in crime prevention”.
He urged local government authorities to exploit the abilities of youth volunteers and added that such joint retreats create “common understanding” between the youth volunteers and the liaison officers.
“Such joint activities increase awareness and information sharing, enhance partnership in crime detection, prevention and reduction and gives community policing more meaning and effectiveness “ said Kangwagye.
During the first national congress of RYVCP held in march this year, members adopted eight resolutions among which was working with all government institutions to implement government programs and increase the number of members to at least one million by the end of 2020.
Since then, the membership of youth volunteers has grown from 20,000 to the current 50,000. They include secondary and university students as well as young graduates.
It was created in 2013 by youth with a vision of contributing to socioeconomic development by fighting and preventing crime in partnership with the police and local authorities.