1st Lady awards best female students

CAMPAIGN:The ‘Women and Girls’ Month’ also launched  In an effort to promote girls’ education, the First Lady, Jeanette Kagame, through Imbuto Foundation, yesterday awarded various prizes to 471 of the best performing primary and secondary school girls in the country.
The First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame (L), and the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloysia Inyumba award one of the best performing students, yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira.
The First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame (L), and the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloysia Inyumba award one of the best performing students, yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira.

CAMPAIGN:The ‘Women and Girls’ Month’ also launched

In an effort to promote girls’ education, the First Lady, Jeanette Kagame, through Imbuto Foundation, yesterday awarded various prizes to 471 of the best performing primary and secondary school girls in the country.

They received certificates of merit, signed by the First Lady, laptops, bags, watches and Rwf20,000 in cash to help them open savings accounts in banks.

“We made it a goal to empower the girl child in all ways possible. Awarding the best female students is not just ceremonial, but is meant to motivate and facilitate them. I urge young girls to study hard so they can become wise parents and leaders with the capacity to positively influence their friends and families, as well as being productive to their country,” Jeanette Kagame said, at the ceremony held in Kayonza District, Eastern Province.

“Girls must put more emphasis on their education. There is a great concern today on girls who get pregnant while still in school. This puts their lives at risk because they can contract diseases and, in most cases, their academic careers are halted”.

“My message to all the girls in the country is that their lives are in their hands. Do not accept offers that lure you from your education. Instead, be inspired to become leaders of this country,” the First Lady advised.

The event served as the International Women’s Day celebrations at the national level.

Conscience Princess Bwiza, 19, a former student of Groupe Scolaire Butare, is the most successful student under the project so far.

She has been awarded at the Primary, Ordinary and, lately, at Advanced Level for her excellent performances.

“The First Lady smiled at me and hugged me before presenting me with a certificate. I was very happy because she is my role model and inspiration, someone who I love and look up to,” Bwiza said in an interview with The New Times.


“As a girl child, I am very grateful for what Imbuto Foundation is doing and I am challenged to use my skills for the development of my country.”

Approximately 2,584 girls have been rewarded since the project, which is also supported by One UN, began.

In the same ceremony, the First Lady also awarded four elderly Rwandans who selflessly sacrificed to provide shelter and care to orphans. The four were awarded under Imbuto Foundation’s ‘Malayika Murinzi’ (Guardian Angel) programme. The project has rewarded 218 adults since 2007 and plans to recognise another 60 this year.

One of the ‘guardian angels’, Francoise Muhimakazi, 61, takes care of three orphans, despite being poor and a widow.

“I just love children and cannot bear to look at a suffering child. My three children are aged nine, eight and 13 and I thank God that I am able to feed them and that they are able to go to school,” Muhimakazi said.

The ceremony also saw the launch of the ‘Rwanda Women and Girls’ Month’.

During the month, various campaigns will take place, focusing on the fight against malnutrition, economic empowerment of women, promotion of girls’ education as well as good governance.

The function was also attended by the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloysea Inyumba, the United Nations Population Fund Resident Representative, Victoria Akyeampong among other officials.

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