The international day of rural women is celebrated every year on the 15th October. This year, under the theme “Rural Women and Girls Building Climate Resilience”, Anet Kakibibi, JDAF of Karongi district and Diane Hirwa Ingabire, the field officer of the “Speak Out” project joined the community in Murundi sector of Karongi district to celebrate with the international day of girl child which stand on the 11th.
We started the day fighting back malnutrition with Umuganda where kitchen gardens were made as a way to encourage rural women to eat a balanced diet,. Then through dances, sketches and poems, the “Speak out” beneficiaries sponsored by UKAID through ACTIONAID implemented by Association des Guides du Rwanda (AGR) and Faith Victory Association (FVA) requested the participants a strong partnership to protect them from Gender Based Violence and shared some acquired skills from safe spaces about sexual and Reproductive health.
Rural women who attended the ceremony also indicated a journey towards their development due to different trainings they have been attending on how they can be successful. “I had a challenge of fetching water very far from my home, and I was old, I had no physical energy. I joined SACCO, and took a loan of ninety thousands and brought water at home. I am now safe, I have access to clean water thanks to the loan I had from the bank” one women reports.
Marie Murekatete indicated that after being given a cow, she was able to pay the school fees for her children and they have all graduated and some got jobs. In addition, the car helped her to get fertilizers for farming, now, she no longer complain of poverty.
Anet Kakibibi, a staff member of both Karongi district and ACTIONAID assigned to improve the lives of women recognized the influence of His Excellency Paul Kagame of making sure that women are empowered, valued and participate in every aspect. Theophile Niragire, the vice mayor of Karongi district in charge of economy showed that women nowadays are quite different with women of the past. He gave examples of the activities which were thought to be done by only men but which are now being done by women as well. He also requested rural women to take advantage over the chance they were given, work hard and contribute to the country’s development.
At Gisagara district the ceremony was held at GS Mushubi in Mushubi. The guests were the mayor of Gisagara district Jerome Rutaburingoga, ACTIONAID coordinator in Rwanda Josephine Uwamariya, the vice coordinator of ACTIONAID in England, Yvette Claudia Hirwa, the field officer of SPEAK OUT in Gisaraga and Nyarguru district. And other partners from the district. The messages spread were about the role of rural women towards building climate resilience and raise girls, one of main topics of the nation’s development. The speak out beneficiaries were given a platform to show what they have learnt so far through poems and dances
Ugirase Cynthia from GR Gishubi, safe space GishubiI 2 presented a poem ”Abakobwa ni umutima w’igihugu tubabungabungire ejo hazaza”. (Girls are heart of the country, we protect their future). Due to her good presentation and a call to action, The Rwanda ACTIONAID representative promised a support to grow her talent. Also Fidelente from EP Karuganda of Karongi district presented a poem “Dusigasire umutekano turwanya ihohoterwa rikorerwa abagore n’abakobwa” (We keep our girls secure through preventing gender based violence) where the attendees were proud of what speak out beneficiaries were learnt so far about their rights, preventing and reporting the cases of gender based violence.