78 teen mothers from Ntongwe and Kinazi sectors in Ruhango district, on December 13, graduated in a ceremony after completing their one-year studies in tailoring and hair dressing at Ntongwe Technical and Vocational Education and Training school. The teen mothers are the beneficiaries of the ‘Wiceceka project,’ implemented by Umuhuza organisation with the support of Bank of Kigali.

Under the project, the beneficiaries were supported to resume their studies in TVET school, while others were supported to start income-generating activities. A total of 180 teen mothers benefited from the project.

In addition to the sponsorship, Umuhuza has worked with the Bank of Kigali and local leaders in Ruhango district on a range of other activities to ensure community involvement in developing clear strategies for the social-economic reintegration of teen mothers in the community through community awareness campaigns on gender based-violence and inter-generational dialogues on positive parenting.

Various officials attended teen mothers graduation ceremony, including Alphonsine Mukangenzi, Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Ruhango, Mathilde Kayitesi, Executive Director of Umuhuza and Ingrid Karangwayire, Executive Secretary of BK Foundation as well as parents.

The event comes as various activists observe the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based violence.”

At the occasion, Kayitesi  thanked the parents for supporting their young girls despite their early pregnancy. She also commented on cases where some parents immediately abandon their children in early pregnancy.

Kayitesi noted that finding solutions to problems affecting families is a top priority for Umuhuza, adding that supporting teen mothers to resume their studies makes the organisation’s dream a reality.

“ This is the beginning. I encourage you to work hard and benefit from the skills you have acquired. Be messengers to other teen mothers, comforting them to never lose hope. We are still with you,” Kayitesi told the teen mothers.

Karangwayire reassured the teen mothers that despite what had happened, they still have a chance to be very important.

She also thanked parents for supporting their young daughters in their difficulties. She reiterated the commitment that BK foundation would be with them.

Mukangenzi called on parents to have regular conversations with their children about reproductive health, explaining that a lack of accurate information on the subject can lead to young girls being tempted.

Leave a comment