BY PAUL NTAMBARA
HUYE — Over 700 youths from child-headed families have recently completed a twelve-day holiday camp in Huye organised by the Unity and Reconciliation Commission.
Officiating at the closing ceremony Minister of Gender and Family Protection Valerie Nyirahabineza called upon the youths, all Genocide survivors, to set goals for their lives and strive to achieve them despite the prevailing challenges.
“We sincerely appreciate the fact that you are facing a lot of difficulties in looking after yourselves and yours siblings at such a tender age. But this is the sad reality that we all have to face and strive to overcome the challenges we are faced with,” said Nyirahabineza.
Problems encountered child survivors of the Genocide heading families are enormous. Currently, the government provides, among others, at least a ‘minimum package,’ including facilitation for education, child protection, and health services, as well as psychiatric support.
Minister Nyirahabineza urged youths to guard against promiscuity, saying that it was a “sure way” of contracting HIV/Aids.
According to George Mwine, a legal officer from the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, most children do not know their rights and the proper channels in which to address their problems.
Responding to the problem of lack of accommodation expressed by almost all children, Minister Nyirahabineza said that districts have been asked to show in their strategic plans how they intend to address the issue.
“It was agreed that districts give priority to child-headed families during the construction of houses for vulnerable Genocide survivors. We shall intervene where necessary to ensure that no child lacks a place to stay,” said Nyirahabineza.
Jean Bosco Nsengimana, a child heading a family said that Genocide orphans numbering over 50 living in Maraba in Huye district have been ignored by authorities.
“We have received little attention from district and sector authorities. Most of these children do not go to school. We request the ministry to come to our rescue,” pleaded Nsengimana.