NYAGATARE - 27 children have been rescued from various forms of child labour in Mimuri Sector, Nyagatare District.
A combined effort by Mimuri sector authorities, Rwanda Education Alternative for Children (REACH), SNV-Rwanda and FAWE-Rwanda, is spear heading initiatives to get help the child labour victims start up income generating activities through a newly formed cooperative.
Most of the children dropped out of school and took up jobs not fit for their age.
“We worked on sugarcane plantations and spent days scaring birds off rice plantations,” said Emeline Mukashyaka, 16, one of the victims.
According to Mukashyaka, with the support from REACH and other NGOs, they are now living better lives.
Moses Mugabo, who heads the REACH project in Nyagatare district, said that efforts to rescue more children are ongoing.
“This is the first phase of our project. We want to get many more children out of child labour,” he said.
Francois Sihimbiro from SNV-Rwanda said that the project has been successful in Nyagatare district as compared to other districts where they operate.
“We have received cooperation from local leaders in support of these children. The programme is more successful here than in other districts,” he said.
Currently, the children are mainly involved in horticultural activities.
According to the REACH representative, they hold regular meetings with children and their parents in the district to discuss the dangers of child labour.
He noted that there is still a large number of children aged between 15 and 18 years being employed illegally in Nyagatare.