Umuhuza in partnership with Save the Children has been training parent facilitators, and positive discipline champions from different parts of the country on how to advocate and contribute to efforts to promote child rights protection.

Since 2017, the project, “Strengthening an Accountable Governance that Protects and Delivers Child Rights.” (Uburere Budahutaza Umwana) has been carried out in 18 sectors of Burera and Ruhango Districts.

According to parents and guardians, the project has changed the way children are viewed and treated in society. This is the result of the commitment of trainers, including parent facilitators and Positive Discipline Champions, to promote and support children’s rights and protection by training other parents on children’s right and helping children understand their rights and encourage discipline.

Jean Habumugisha married three wives and had 11 children. He lives in the village of Kamonyi, Byimana sector, Ruhango District.

For Habumugisha, raising all the children was a burden. As a result, some missed out on school and one withdrew from the family.

He later received training in children’s rights and changed his mind.

“Some of my children dropped out of school, but after the training I sent them back to school. At present, some have graduated from secondary school. Today I lead by example and encourage other parents to respect children’s rights”

According to Francois Rukemangamizi from Burera District, old beliefs in society are the essence of violating children’s rights. It was assumed that beating or harassing a child was the only way to correct him, but under the project parents changed their mindset.

Rosette Mukandinda, a widow-Ruhango district, left with five children. In her mind, raising all the children became a burden, and as a result she would abuse them.

Rosette Mukandinda said some parents like me didn’t care about children’s rights until we were trained. We are now excellent ambassadors in the community.

Fortunately, Mukandinda changed her mind after receiving training in positive discipline in daily parenting under the Uburere Budahutaza Umwana project.

After training, I burst into tears thinking about what I used to do to my children. She said children should not be victims of our family’s problems.

“I believed that smacking a child was a good way to correct him, but I was completely wrong. Some parents like me didn’t care about children’s rights until we were trained. We are now excellent ambassadors in the community,” she pointed out.

For Beatrice Muhawenimana, a graduate parent and champion of the Butaro sector, Burera District, the Uburere Budahutaza Umwana project is timely in her area. “We are constantly faced with the challenges of parents failing to take care of their children, which can lead to bad behavior, such as drug abuse, dropping out of school, etc. As part of the ‘Uburere Budahutaza Umwana’ project, we are grateful for the changes following training in child rights protection. The project has made a significant difference to the community.”

Jeanne Mukarurangwa said: “I was lucky enough to attend children’s rights protection training. Training changed my attitude and later I realized how abusive I had been to my children. Whenever children make mistakes, I treat harshly with taboo words and harsh punishments. This is not just my case, other parents have engaged in similar behavior.”

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