Ngarama : Teen mothers optimistic for improved livelihoods after receiving legal and socio-economic support

Ngarama sector citizens appreciate the good results of Club de la Presse talk show which took place on 14th November 2021 focusing on the topic of fighting child abuse and teen pregnancies.

Nine men are imprisoned for child abuse and rape, income-generating activities are organized for rape victims and teen mothers. Awareness programs intensified for responsible parenting.
Ryumugabe Alphonse Sector social affairs officer of Ngarama sector in Gatsibo district said that the talk show awakened the leaders to support teen mothers and rape victims.
“After the debate we started an operation in collaboration with RIB; Nine men have already been arrested and imprisoned in Ntsinda prison, there are others that Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) is looking for because they fled after committing the crime. »
Among other strategies to eradicate this crime, we ha a communication strategy from village level in collaboration with RIB. He said

The sewing machines were handed over to teen mothers to help them and their children so that they can overcome the stigma associated with teen motherhood.
Some of beneficiaries have welcomed the donation considering it a backup serving as a big foundation for their progress.
“I gave birth when I was aged 16. Days later, my mother died. Since then, I led bitter life in loneliness that I had negative mindsets and considered my existence useless as my father threatened to banish me from home . The donation is for us equivalent to a hoe and land that will pave the way for improved livelihoods of teen mothers and their children,” said on of teem mothers
Another beneficiary identified as Immaculée Dusabimana has said that received machines are promising to transform their livelihoods and position them as entrepreneurs, other than pejorative nicknames they used to receive.
“We were acquainted with sewing techniques that we are able to offer better services. We have the necessary skills to be exhibited at the labour market to prove our competencies. This will improve our reputation to be perceived as entrepreneurs in the society unlike pejorative nicknames we used to bear as sex workers,” she noted.

“We advise teen mothers not to sink into sorrow but remain strong and strive for a prosperous future. They still have chance to resume studies to change own and children’s lives while others finding it difficult can attend vocational training programs. It is also our pledge to stay closer to them along the development journey to transform their livelihoods,” added the sector social affairs officer .

The parents find an obvious impact of the debate which was organized on November,14, 2021 in their sector. After the talk show local leaders and Rwanda Investigation Bureau have made efforts to seek out and arrest culprits and the community has also taken seriously the danger to their children.
“Many things are being done to fight and prevent child abuse in Ngarama sector including awareness raising and care to victims,” Ms. Ange Marie said. “Now the community is informed that in the case of violence, the victim should rush to a nearby clinic for treatment within 72 hours so that the evidence can be collected. We are also sensitized to have a culture of reporting such crimes to the local authorities,” she said.

Ndababonye Theogene, a father of five contends that fathers, mothers, guardians, and the community should play a larger role to address the problem of teenage pregnancies.

“At the end of it all, we might have amazing policies and programs but the household, the family, where this girl comes from, they need to have conversations on sexual reproductive health,”he said. “We cannot stop teenage pregnancy without the roles of the families and community.”
Ndababonye found cases where teenage girls had babies without their parents knowing they were pregnant -- incidents he described as shocking.
Reporter/ Bienvenu Nduwayo