Youth in the Kimironko Sector, Gasabo District were yesterday afternoon sensitised on leadership skills by different local leaders, as part of the end-of-year celebrations at Casa Bonita Hall in Kimironko.
The function brought together over 500 youth who met with area leaders in an event that is celebrated annually. According to Esperance Nyirabuturinuma, the sector’s Social Affairs Secretary, the gathering was organised after the youth specifically requested to meet with their leaders and youth representatives in the area.
“Gatherings like these are a way to help youths develop their potential as leaders and at the same time opportunities for them to bring forward issues that directly affect them,” she said.
According to Nyirabuturinuma, before 2006, committees of youth leaders had been selected at district level countrywide by a team composed of representatives from the Gender and Family promotion Ministry and other organisations like UNICEF.
The selected youths get to meet with President Paul Kagame during the annually held youth’s summit. She continued that the youths’ later requested to vote for their own representatives at the Summit in elections that are held from the grassroots levels.
Each village (Umudugudu) in Gasabo District has a committee of youth made up of five leaders—the President, Vice President, Secretary and two advisers.
These further compete for the top five positions at the cell level that are voted to represent others at national level at the Summit.
Clothilde Mukeshimana, the in charge of welfare in Intashyo Village, said that there is need for youth to know the system of leadership from an early age as an important tool for development and progress in their lives.
“It’s a big problem when the youth do not know who their local leaders are. They will not be able to report cases of abuse in order for us to help them,” Mukeshimana said.
She urged the youth to know by name their representatives, all local leaders and also the names of their villages, cells and sectors in their district.
Seventeen-year old Asuma Ingabire, the Child President of Kimironko Sector, said that as child leaders, they are able to address the problems they face most especially street children, orphans and the poor.
“We always raise awareness on the plight of the vulnerable children to the higher authorities and to also educate our age mates about the dangers of HIV and the benefits of going to school as the leaders of tomorrow,” she said.