A seed (imbuto) as a symbol has been used widely to represent different ideas, beliefs and actions. Latter day prosperity evangelists have put the symbol of the seed to utmost use in their gospel of ‘sowing a seed.’
The message to their congregation is clear; you have to ‘sow a seed’ (give money) if you are to expect blessings (wealth) from God. A seed can also be described as a point of concentrated energy, a symbol of potential, hope or reproduction. The Bible talks about the mustard seed that symbolises growth.
The Imbuto Foundation, under the leadership of the First Lady Mrs Jeannette Kagame couldn’t have found a better name for an organisation whose seed has undergone cycles of growth to the benefit of Rwandans irrespective of gender and age.
The foundation’s areas of intervention have increased over the last ten years. From providing health care and economic support to people living with HIV, the foundation provides scholarships to gifted but financially disadvantaged girls to see them through secondary school.
People living with HIV/Aids have been provided with Health Insurance. The foundation has also taken on the campaign against HIV especially among the youth and mentorship programmes rolled out among other many interventions.
On Tuesday, August 20, Imbuto Foundation recognised seven young men and women from the fields of leadership, entrepreneurship, art, sciences and community mobilisation for their outstanding contribution to the country’s development.
This was during the fourth edition of Imbuto Foundation’s Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers Awards (CYRWA). The seven as selected by the general public through a nomination process were deemed to have inspired fellow youth through their hard work and innovativeness to work towards developing their country.
They say that give a soldier biscuits and a letter from home and they will conquer the world, in the same vain, it goes without saying that nothing evokes the creative genius of youth than a simple appreciation of their efforts.
It only takes a simple pat on the back to spark the creative power of the youth.
This is what makes the initiative by Imbuto foundation worth noting. The message to the rest of the youth is that success is rewarded. Apart from the direct benefit this success brings to the individual, the country too shares in the achievement. It is a motivation to the rest of the youth to aim beyond the average in their different pursuits in life.
Some of the outstanding youth recognised include two ladies; an entrepreneur in the IT field and a pilot, and not just a pilot but Rwanda’s first and only female pilot to take to the skies.
Imbuto foundation has been at the forefront of promoting the girl-child education through different initiatives aimed at helping girls enroll and stay in school until completion.
In these two, the foundation couldn’t have found better ambassadors to put to clarity the assertion that girls are equally capable of excelling at the highest levels like their male counterparts if they are supported.
Promotion of girl-child education has been the poster child for the foundation’s activities for obvious reasons. Threats to enrolment, retention and completion of school by the girl child are many.
Some threats like lack of separate toilet facilities in schools, and limited access to sanitary pads may seem insignificant but they are major causes of truancy or complete drop-out of school by the girl child.
Some girls drop out of school because they lack role models to look up to. This is what makes platforms like mentoring programmes and Rwandan Achievers Awards by Imbuto foundation timely.
Girls are not only told that they have potential to achieve but can also be made to see their counterparts who have made it in business, science, the arts and politics.
The foundation in the last ten years has managed to juggle different plates with resounding success but more still needs to be done. Youth unemployment remains an eyesore, teenage pregnancy has raised its ugly head, the threat posed by HIV has not flinched and ominous rise of drug abuse cases especially among the youth is glaring.
Imbuto has laid the foundation. It will take more hands to realise a nation of empowered and dignified Rwandans.