THE FIRST LADY, Jeannette Kagame, has urged female students at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) to uphold Rwandan values and set out principles that will help them build a better future for themselves and the country in general.
Mrs Kagame, who is also the founder of Imbuto Foundation, made the remarks at the weekend while addressing first year female students at the Huye-based University.
The function, which is part of the Foundation’s youth empowerment programme was themed: ‘Begin with the end in mind’. The programme appeals to the young girls to start with clear understanding of where they want to go and make sure that every action they do contributes to that vision.
The First Lady advised the girls to focus and concentrate on school as well as resist temptations or else their futures would be compromised.
“University environment is full of adventure to discover. But girls, be strong, confident and don’t let us down.” Mrs Kagame said.
The First Lady further told the girls to stay focused on their goals, reminding them that they are the ones to bear consequences of mistakes they may make in life.
University girls have had to drop out of school after getting pregnant while the fathers of the babies they carry continue with school.
The First Lady urged them to have confidence, respect themselves and self esteem noting that these are qualities that will enable them live better and more meaningful lives.
“Focus on doing what you are here for and you will be able to enjoy your life and realize your dreams,” Mrs kagame said.
“You have all it takes to succeed. Don’t waste the available opportunities to give your life the right direction,” she added.
The Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, who was among the speakers cautioned the girls against irresponsible sexual behavior, saying it puts them at risk of shattering their dreams.
Marie Aimé Nshuti, a geography student, acknowledged the contribution of the speakers towards their lives. She, however, requested for more information on how to deal with sexual life.
“Girls are not open to talk about sex perhaps because of cultural barriers”, Nshuti said.
Minister Binagwaho reminded the girls that just because they discuss sex-related topics does not imply they should have sex.
The First Lady’s office has continuously championed efforts to promote girls education, fight HIV/AIDS and empower youth.
A panel of women leaders including Health Minister Dr Agnes Binagwaho;Sybille Ugiranesa (lecturer at KHI); deputy chair, Unity Club, Monique Nsanzabaganwa; Disaster Management and Refugees affairs, Minister Seraphine Mukantabana; Rose Rwabuhihi, sister Immaculee Uwamaliya accompanied the First Lady to speak to girls at NUR.