Following the training workshops on gender equality, GBV and positive masculinities and femininities, positive change of attitudes and behaviors are being observed among trained boys and girls. Boys are giving up harmfully treating girls and girls are increasing self-confidence and self-esteem among themselves ; as result, girls’ financial dependency on men and boys is decreasing. This is revealed by testimonies for both boys and girls.
A young girl studying in Senior 2, in GS Mareba is one of girls who positively changed her attitudes and behaviors. “Before being trained by RWAMREC, I was a girl open to all people including boys. This made my neighbor young boy ask me for love and I accepted. As we became friends, we looked for a way that could help us to communicate without our parents to know it. The boy took a decision to buy a phone for me. But, I told him that the phone should be given to a relative boy who live with me at my grandmother so that they could not know that it belongs to me. The RWAMREC came to train us 3 days after the boys had given me 12,000 Rwf for a phone and 1,000 Rwf for a ticket from home to Nyamata”, she testified.
Many female students who fall pregnant come from poor families and these families are not able to provide for their children all what they need. In exchange of what they need, student girls accept to have sex with men/boys. Even though they perceive themselves to be susceptible to pregnancy, they accept what men and boys give them in order to have their financial problems resolved. Fortunately, the training workshop provided by RWAMREC contributes to the empowerment of boys and girls with correct information and enables girls to make decision on their own life and not to financially depend on men and boys.
The young girl goes on testifying : “After following lessons provided in the training requesting girls to be self-confident and to be able to take a decision on their body and life, when I came back home, I took a decision to bring back the money to my boyfriend. The boy was not happy with this decision. Hence, he asked me how we will love each other without any means of communication. I told him that the phone is not necessary and added that I can buy it by myself.”
Since that day the girl got a bright idea to have money by herself without depending on boys or men. To achieve her objective, she began to raise hens. “In order to have money, I took a decision to raise hens. I now have 4 young chickens, and I will continue increasing them. I will also raise other kind of livestock or prepare other economic projects,” testified the young girl.
The project " Engaging boys as positive supporters of girls in the fight against early pregnancies in schools and surrounding communities" is implemented by Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC) with the financial support of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) and UNDP since September 2018. This project is implemented in the District of Bugesera, in 3 secondary schools namely, GS Kamabuye, GS Mareba, and GS Kagasa, located respectively in the sectors of Mayange, Mareba and Mwogo.
The purpose of the project is to sensitize and empower boys and girls to adopt healthy and positive masculinities and femininities for promotion of gender equality and elimination of early pregnancies. To achieve this, RWAMREC uses, through training workshops, the Boys4Change model that engages boys and girls as peer mentors and partners in promoting gender equality and adoption of healthy adolescent and gender relationships.