Caritas Rwanda through USAID Gimbuka Program awards 165 young beneficiaries during the World Day of the African Child
On Thursday 16th June, Caritas Rwanda celebrated the World Day of the African Child in Nyamasheke, Rusizi, Karongi, Rubavu and Rutsiro Districts. Organised by USAID Gimbuka Program in the above coverage areas, the events united thousands of children and students, districts’ high officials and the project’s staff and partners.
The World Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). It honours those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day and also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.
USAID Gimbuka Program in collaboration with Nyamasheke, Rusizi, Karongi, Rubavu and Rutsiro Districts hosted a one-day celebratory event of the Day of the African Child in these respective districts and the event celebrated achievements of the Program’s beneficiaries. One of the main activities of the day was the awards ceremony of USAID Gimbuka program beneficiaries who have just graduated from the program.
In his speech, the Gimbuka Program Coordinator in Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts, Eric Rukundo appreciated the efforts invested by the program beneficiaries and the support from the districts to facilitate their learning and growth process. Mrs. Athanasie Mukankusi, Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs reminded the audience of the importance of empowering children, the future leaders of Rwanda and congratulated USAID Gimbuka Program for shaping the next generation of reliable leaders and pillars of the society, through TVET promotion to Rwandan youth.
USAID Gimbuka Program financially supports students in various TVET disciplines including: Plumbing, automobile mechanic, masonry, tailoring, welding and electricity. A total of 165 students were awarded start up kits considering their TVET studies respectively, as follows: 21 students in Karongi, 22 students in Nyamasheke, 14 students in Rubavu, 21 students in Rusizi and 22 students in Rutsiro.
‘’Receiving these startup materials will help me secure a nice job now that I have just graduated’’. Says Robertine Nyirampawenimana, plumbing graduate. ‘’I am grateful to the Gimbuka Program for believing in me, paying for my school fees and getting me an internship to enhance my knowledge’’. She added.
USAID Gimbuka Beneficiaries were given start up kits by district officials, representatives of Rwanda National Police on the districts’ levels, USAID program coordinators among other leaders and partners.
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (The Committee/ ACERWC), established in accordance with Articles 32 and 33 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the Charter/ACRWC) selected: ‘’Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy and Practice since 2013’’ as the theme for the commemoration of the DAC in 2022, which is mainly to recall the 1976 Soweto high-school students who started protesting against apartheid-inspired education, hence resulting in the public killing of these unarmed young protesters by South African police officials.
The Day of the African Child 2022 presents further an opportunity to review the status of harmful practices affecting children in Africa by highlighting the issues that African children are facing in their daily lives due to the harmful practices, and assess where we are toward the protection and assistance of children who are at risk and victims of harmful practices in Africa. Caritas Rwanda values children and believes that children should be cared for, protected and empowered and this has been one of USAID-funded and Caritas-implemented Gimbuka Program for the past 10 years.