MUHANGA - Representatives of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), from East African, have praised Rwanda’s commitment to helping children who had lost hope, saying they are ready to learn from the country’s experience.
The remarks were made yesterday as the YWCA group began a two-day meeting aimed at sharing the experience and success story of Rwanda in supporting the livelihoods of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s).
Apart from East African countries, delegates from Sudan and Ethiopia are also attending the meeting.
Hendrica Okondo, the Geneva based- YWCA Programme Director for Africa and Middle East, said that the Rwandan experience of OVC Giving Hope programme, has been highly commended by its sponsors- Church World Services (CWS), an international multi church non-governmental organization.
Okondo revealed that Rwanda has been given the responsibility of coordinating and disseminating the programme to the East and Central African countries, under supervision of the YWCA offices in each of the countries.
“The Rwandan programme is special and needs to be shared and will be extended to sister countries, because of the success achieved in giving hope to children, building their social economic abilities based on a child’s dreams and monitoring and implementing them,” Okondo said, at the opening of the forum.
Okondo also noted that the Giving Hope program has been successful in Rwanda, due to the support and involvement of local government officials and suitable mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation.
He urged other countries to copy the example of Rwanda.
The chairperson of YWCA Rwanda, Prudentienne Uzamukunda, revealed that the ‘Giving Hope’ approach in their programme has managed to restore hope for many children after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
She added that the approach has integrated social structures of 16,027 orphans and vulnerable children within 5,479 households, 504 of these were elected as leaders in the community, and 212 siblings and street children have been reunited, and trained with life skills.