“What we have been tough based on the sex orientation can lead to a huge change and new appearance. None was born with powerlessness, live for being oppressed, or oppressing others, but we learn them from others’ where we’re mandated to do it as a mast. We need to change train ourselves and change this mindset”. Openly, Umukiza Delphine, a student at Group Scolaire Bumbogo shared her experience before being trained. In line with Haguruka’s key area of intervention of engaging in awareness-raising activities and social mobilization, Haguruka has well prepared and effectively conducted training sessions in Gasabo and Musanze district on a theme of “Engaging Girls on Prevention of Gender-Based Violence, Understand Sexual and Reproductive Health, Women’s Rights, Self-Confidence, Decision Making, and Planning for the Better Future”.
In partnership with Kvinna Till Kvinna, Haguruka is implementing a project entitled “INGO Z’AMAHORO”. The project is being implemented in two districts; Musanze and Gasabo district. One of its main activities is to empower girls with knowledge, leadership and life skills, and access to support networks.
It is in this regard that Haguruka has well prepared and conducted the training for the in-school girls and teachers on women’s rights, leadership, sexual reproductive health and rights, self-confidence, G BV referral pathways in Musanze and Gasabo district in April 2019; 11th May, from 18th to 19th May 2019. The target schools were Group Scolaire (G.S) Cyuve and G.S Cyabagarura in Musanze district; and G.S Bumbogo and Remera in Gasabo district.
The training was so participative since the participants were able to speak out their thoughts on how they normally consider gender-based violence. During the training, the participants were able to really understand the true meaning of gender, gender equality, gender equity, sex, types of power, learned ideology about power, gender, sex, etc.; gender-based violence (GBV), avoiding silence habit in case of GBV, pathway to report GBV cases, first aid to GBV victim, investigation to GBV cases, human rights; especially women empowerment, women and child’s rights, sexual reproductive health, prevention of teenage pregnancy, self-confidence, and self-advocacy.
The training was programmed in the way which favorized each present attendee to benefit and acquire a variety of skills in relation to the main theme of the training. different training methodologies have been used; presentations, groups discussion, real-life case studies, and the participants were given the opportunity to share their daily challenges and involved in setting measures of how they can overcome them.
If truth be told, the training was aimed at empowering girls with the knowledge and ability to demand their rights. Girls were equipped with the skills to make the decision that counts and also that they hold the power to take control over their bodies.
Both students and their teachers shared their views on the existed challenges at some the school in Rwanda. Through their presentation, it has been realized there is still inadequate skills and knowledge among the in-school girls about sexual reproductive health since the majority of the risk to miss classes because they’re in their period. It has been also realized that there are some young girls who got pregnant at the earlier age, there is a problem of too much-unprotected sex (adultery), and there is also an issue of young girls who consume drugs.
In addition, during the training, the girls were so excited to share with the trainers some of their decision and wishes after attending the training session; “thank you so much for letting us be aware and get skilled more on Gender-Based Violence, Understand Sexual and Reproductive Health, Women’s Rights, Self-Confidence, Decision Making, and Planning for the Better Future”. They have decided to stand up and start to engage advocacy-related activities to raise awareness of their colleagues on the prevention of GBV; they have also decided to start breaking the bad habit of being silent in case of GBV, they have decided to keep on reporting information related to an occurrence of GBV on time, they have decided to go and teach the rest of the girls in their community on they have learned during the training, and they have also decided to teach other girls to value their power and to say no in case of being attempted to any kind of violence. The girls have affirmed that they will be running and monitoring some debates aimed at raising awareness of girls on GBV, and they have also decided to teach other girls on how to figure out and use their power.
On the side of teachers, they were so happy for the prepared training since they have acquired additional skills on sexual reproductive health which will definitely lead to provide well services of teaching Rwandan children.
The teachers have also decided to work hand-in-hand with their students to teach the rest of the students who didn’t get a chance to attend the training sessions. One of the teachers, openly, thanked Haguruka for thinking about girls and prepare such essential training which will help them to be able to educate others on the learned skills.