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Together with representatives of SONKE Gender Justice and Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), RWAMREC visited the TTC Rubengera Youth4change club and the ‘Umugoroba w’ababyeyi” committee of Gitovu village in Cyanya cell of Gishyita sector; on the 5th and 6th of November 2019, as part of a learning visit organized by RWAMREC for Prevention+ teams of Uganda and South Africa.

Prevention+ is a five year multi-level Gender-based violence prevention programme, implemented in Rwanda, Uganda, Indonesia and part of the Middle East and North Africa Region; whose mission is to contribute to creating a gender-just society by transforming harmful social norms that drive GBV; and ensuring that these changes are rooted in a legal system that supports them. The programme is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Rutgers, Promundo-Us and SONKE Gender justice, who collaborate and provide technical support to the above-mentioned implementing countries. In Rwanda, the programme is solely implemented in Karongi District by RWAMREC working in collaboration with Promundo; and in Uganda it is implemented by RHU with support from SONKE.

In 2018, the Rwandan Prevention+ programme team visited RHU to learn from their implementation of the programme on the ground. The week-long visit, that was also attended by representatives of SONKE, allowed for time to discuss achievements, gaps and possible linkages with RHU team; as well as it served as space to meet the programme beneficiaries, particularly the youth groups and the elders and religious leaders; activities that RHU and RWAMREC have in common through the Prevention+ programme. It was subsequently agreed that RWAMREC would reciprocate and allow RHU and SONKE to visit Rwanda and learn from the various components of Prevention+ programme in Karongi.
On 4th Nov, the Mayor and Vice-Mayors of Karongi (in charge of social and Economic Affairs), the Executive Secretary of the District and the in-charge of Gender and Family promotion welcomed RWAMREC, RHU and SONKE in Karongi for a conversation on successes and challenges of the programme; as well as the collaboration between the District and RWAMREC, that is the backbone behind the success of the programme in the District.
On 5th Nov, all three teams visited the TTC Rubengera school ‘Youth4change club’ to meet the youth and their mentors (teachers) and understand the programme from the perspectives of these young people. Through Prevention+ programme, all 63 secondary schools of Karongi have created Youth4change clubs; anti-GBV clubs made of 60 male and female students and 5 teacher/mentors whom were all trained on Gender and GBV prevention and subsequently tasked to reach unto other students, in an effort to promote safer school environments for girls and more positive forms of masculinities amongst the youth. The students shared their vision of the programme, their hopes and expectations for the future; and RHU and SONKE were also given the floor to share their experience working with young people in Uganda and what the programme has helped them achieve to date.

On 6th Nov, the teams met with Gitovu village “umugoroba w’ababyeyi” or Parents Evening dialogue (PED) committee as well as 2 couples that benefited from the programme through support from the PED. From 2016, RWAMREC has built the capacity of PED committee members in all 537 villages of Karongi, totaling to 3,759 PED members; to equip them with the skills to effectively support community members with dealing with social and family issues. During the visit, PED committee members discussed their experience with the programme; and testimonies of change were shared by the couples; to help RHU/SONKE to fully comprehend the various components of the programme

The learning visit ends on 8th Nov with teambuilding activities in which RWAMREC Management, Prevention+ programme and Finance teams from Rwanda, as well as guests from Uganda (RHU) and South Africa (SONKE) will all partake.