Two important events are taking place during today’s Umuganda exercise (community work), across the country: Rwandans will help with the construction of classrooms for the 12-Year Basic Education, after which they will discuss how best to restore and uphold family values.
The construction follows a similar drive that resulted in the quick completion of the Nine-Year Basic Education classrooms.
Such home-grown, community-driven initiatives not only deliver faster results and foster public ownership, but they also help save millions of taxpayers’ money.
However, it is the first time the country is undertaking a major campaign to promote the importance of the family, as the pillar of the nation. Over the recent years, family bonds have weakened with many failing in their parenthood.
Children and teenagers, especially in urban areas, have been deprived of parental care and guidance, leaving them exposed to unbecoming behaviour. Bizarrely, some parents expect teachers to play both the educator and family roles.
Many children are abandoned, battered and abused by their own parents or close relatives.
Due to negligence and adversity at home, kids end up either on the street or in orphanages. Others join criminal gangs or start working as child labourers.
Failure by parents to properly bring up children has put a burden on the governments and threatened harmony within communities.
That said, today’s launch of the month-long campaign should be supported so that family values are restored.