The Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC), through Prevention+ project, has just concluded a Gender and GBV prevention training of 32 Headmasters and 50 teachers in Karongi District, as part of an ongoing process of reaching unto young people to help them build more positive forms of attitudes and behavior and contribute to creating a gender-just and GBV-free environment.
Prevention+, a 5 year project funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Promundo, Rutgers and Sonke, is designed to be implemented in four countries - Rwanda, Uganda, Indonesia, Pakistan; as well as parts of the Middle East and Northern African region. In Rwanda, the project is implemented by RWAMREC; targeting young people and couples, amongst other groups, and aiming at transforming harmful social norms that drive Gender-based violence.
The above-mentioned training, which started towards the end of 2016, has for final goal the strengthening of capacities of teachers and Heads of schools to enable them to support students to actively engage in GBV prevention and promotion of equal rights. While out of the 50 teachers just trained 38 were men and 12 women; out of the 32 Headmasters, 22 were men and 10 women. These add unto the 20 Head masters and 100 teachers trained in previous years.
Following the teacher training, the teachers developed action plans, defining activities to be conducted with students until the end of 2018. Responsibilities assigned to the teachers after training are indeed to support the ‘Boys4change clubs’ in their respective schools. Boys4change clubs are anti-GBV clubs, made of 60 students each (30 male and 30 female), created in all 52 secondary schools of Karongi, and trained by RWAMREC, whose roles are to ensure that even the non-trained students have access to information on gender and GBV prevention.
Mukashema Drocelle, the Vice-Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Karongi; whom is often invited to open and close the training and call upon participants to commit to it, mentioned her appreciation for RWAMREC’s contribution to fighting GBV in Karongi.
She confirmed that RWAMREC’s capacity building of schools and Parents evening dialogue structures is not only a priority for the District; but that it is above all helping to increase the local community’s knowledge around the law; that it helping to create a generation of informed and gender-aware future leaders; that it is helping to mend the broken relationships amongst couples; and that as such, she is convinced it is the best strategy to help reduce occurrences of GBV, in combination with the measures put in place by the Government.
By Florence MUTESI