YWCA in partnership with Plan International Celebrate the International Day for the Girl Child

YWCA Rwanda joined the rest of the world in celebrating the International day of the girl child (IDG). The IDG which is celebrated annually on October 11th following the resolution by the United Nations General Assembly is meant to re-affirm commitment towards promoting girls’ rights and to discuss obstacles that exist. This year’s national theme for Rwanda is “Ending Girl Child trafficking and sexual abuse: my responsibility.” YWCA celebrated the IDG in partnership with Plan International in Bugesera district at G.S Nyabagyendwa together with the schools where YWCA and Plan International are implementing the project” Promoting Girls Future through Education and Financial Training” namely; G.S Mwendo, G.S Rilima, G.S Nyabagyendwa, G.S Nyamata and G.S Murama.

The celebrations brought together students, parents, young leaders, district leaders, musicians, civil society members, well-wishers and the police. The celebrations began with a marching in Nyabagendwa that attracted many people. The president of YWCA commended the participants for their commitment towards promoting the rights of the girl child and reaffirmed YWCA’s commitment towards the promotion and protection of the rights of the girl child.

The head of Plan International in Bugesera district urged for more increased partnerships in championing for the rights of the girl child. He noted that over 16 million girls worldwide are not in school which should act as a wakeup call for the world. In her remarks, Miss Rwanda Akiwacu Colombe urged all people to work together to uplift the status of girls in society. She noted that girls should be at the fore front in the fight against sexual violence. She advised the young girls to respect themselves, know what they want and choose wisely. She pointed out that having an international day dedicated for the girl child should in itself act as a motivating factor to continue championing for the rights of the girl child.

A representative from Bugesera district thanked the government of Rwanda for supporting the girl child. He thanked all stakeholders like the police and local authorities for working towards the promotion of the rights of the girl child. He advised the young people to love school and cautioned them against bad behavior like taking drugs. He encouraged all young people to grow up with a dream for their future. He advised them to avoid early sex, prostitution which could put them in problems.
A student from G.S Nyabagendwa who was among the celebrants testified on how she had been a victim of sexual abuse which resulted into giving birth at the age of 16. She further noted that besides the entire trauma she went through, she was glad that her parents managed to send her back to school. She therefore advised parents to always counsel their children and to give them all the moral support that they need and also cautioned young people to be cautious and avoid behavior that can result into problems.
As the celebrations came to an end, YWCA in partnership with Plan International awarded some students who had participated in various competitions in relation to the International Day of the Girl Child and had exhibited exemplary behavior as well as leadership in their schools. Many were given scholastic materials like bags, books and pens to help them at school. Girls were also given sanitary pads.
The celebrations were graced by the performance from celebrated Rwandan Artist locally dubbed as Knowles. The young children were thrilled to see her perform live on stage. Her charm and power of attraction were evident as many young people occasionally joined her on the dance floor. The messages in her songs sent strong warnings and words of caution to the young people. This marked the end of the celebrations.