The First Lady has advised parents to ensure proper nurturing of children during the early years of their lives if they are to be shaped into responsible citizens.
Mrs Jeannette Kagame made the remarks yesterday in Kayonza District during the inauguration of an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) in Nyagatovu and Kitazigurwa sectors.
The centre was developed and implemented by Imbuto Foundation and will mainly benefit children from 0 to 6 years of age.
Speaking to residents, Mrs Kagame said the integrated community-based Early childhood development model centre will help stimulate and develop the minds of those children hence preparing them for school.
“Research shows that the best time to shape a child’s development is during the first three years of their lives. This is when their brains develop well compared to other stages of lives. Which is why parents should embrace this and ensure that children benefit from this centre. The lessons you learn from this centre, therefore, should also be taken and practiced at home so your children can grow up well, in good health and with knowledge and dignity,” she said.
The First Lady also officially inaugurated the integrated development program (IDP) in Kayonza district, Nyagatovu and Kitazigurwa sectors. The Early Childhood development and family center, the community hall which she also inaugurated are part of the IDP program. The IDP has so far been in operation for 4 years.
She asked residents to own all the development programmes in the area, including the Early Childhood Development Centre, while working together to enhance the programmes in place.
Research also shows that parents or other people that could be raising a child can only instil certain character, discipline and a number of skills in that child’s life during the early period of their lives.
Mrs Kagame also called on men to play an important role whenever their wives are pregnant and care for them in order to raise their children well and live in a happy, healthy family.
The centre, which has capacity to accommodate 135 children, provides space for professionals to reach out to children, families and caregivers.
Families and caregivers also learn how to best nurture and care for young children.
Lamin Manneh, the One UN Resident Coordinator commended the First Lady for the great work she carries out.
He said that One UN will support this initiative and ensure that children in Rwanda grow up from a solid foundation, thus empowering them and making Rwanda a stronger nation.
John Mugabo, the mayor of Kayonza, said his district faces challenges of indiscipline especially among the youth, robbery and corruption, among others, which are as a result of poor upbringing.
“With such a centre, this will help improve children’s upbringing and nurture them into disciplined and noble citizens. Mothers will now educate their children while they are still in the womb. Children will be able to interact more with their children while they are still young,” he noted.
Mrs. Kagame also toured Kitazigurwa and Nyagatovu villages which have been given a facelift with easy access to water, electricity and modern roofings tiled houses that have been built for residents who were living in impoverished places.
Imbuto Foundation developpped these projects is close partnership with ONE UN family,the Ministry of Local Government and the districts of Kayonza and Rwamagana.