RUHANGO- The Minister of Gender and Family promotion, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, has called on parents and local leaders to include child initiatives in community development programmes.
The minister made the remarks Wednesday during national celebrations to mark the Day of the African Child and Family Day held in Ruhango District, Southern Province.
“Children are the future of the country and they need to be included in community development prospects to enable them to make good choices in life and become better citizens,” Mujawamariya advised.
The Day of the African Child is marked in memory of the over 100 children who were killed while fighting for their rights in Soweto, South Africa in 1976.
Nana Garbrah-Aidoo, the representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), hailed the Rwandan government for measures of averting child mortality, establishing laws on children’s rights and raising awareness among its citizens.
The official, who was also representing the UN organs in the country, re-affirmed the UN’s commitment to support key partners to ensure that children understand the importance of participating in planning, and budgeting of child survival, development, participation and protection.
“The UN will continue to work with the government of Rwanda, in building a country fit for children. We should all work together for the development of children-to stop the worst forms of child labour, and make families safe havens for children,” Garbrah-Aidoo said.
Representatives of the Children’s Forum in Ruhango highlighted achievements by children, which, included improvement in advocacy of their rights and sensitization on child protection laws among others.
Mujawamariya also inspected activities initiated by children’s forums where the children demonstrated a new hand washing technology, commonly known as ‘Kandagira-ukarabe’ (Step on it and Wash), which is used in schools to promote hygiene.
The occasion was also attended by various provincial leaders and officials from child rights organizations.