Strive Foundation Rwanda, a local non-government organization that has a vast experience in social protection for vulnerable children especially child rights protection and promotion, decided to engage in community mobilization for teen pregnancy prevention.
Effective 2018, Strive Foundation Rwanda initiated an awareness raising and mobilization on ASRHR among students through school club initiatives known as “YEWE CLUBS” in 10 schools of Nyamasheke and Rusizi Districts. The school club initiatives have enabled students to disclose themselves and talk about sex and changes they undergo during their adolescence. As results, the number of teen pregnancies reduced in the last past 2 years in the concerned schools regardless of the COVID19 school-lockdown impacts that left some students pregnant and others drop-outs.
Henceforth, this prompted Strive Foundation Rwanda to initiate a community mobilization and sensitization on ASRHR in the Community of Kagano sector for non-schooling girls. Strive Foundation Rwanda collaborates with all stakeholders including local leaders, Community Health Workers,Inshuti z’Umuryango, Youth Center, Health center, Police, Cooperatives, Community based organization and others.
The main objective on this initiative is to reduce teen pregnancy in Kagano sector-Nyamasheke District and this program is expected to be extended to other sectors and Districts as well in accordance with the financial capacity
Currently Strive Foundation Rwanda has already trained and empowered 19 peer educators and their 5 champions from each cell on permanent sensitization of teenagers on ASRHR. Also, teenagers will be equipped with adequate knowledge on ASRHR and given opportunity to talk about sex and changes they undergo during adolescence, hopefully also parents will be reached by the volunteers and local leaders on regular basis.
The teen pregnancy grounds family conflicts in general and in particular teen mothers stigmatized, cursed and abandoned by their families hence, they find refuge in their own homes or in their relatives and have to work hard for survival and their rights are violated
Most of teen mothers drop out of schools, suffer from psychosocial difficulties due to early pregnancy, family rejection, stigmatization and they lose hope for the future. In Nyamasheke as well as in other districts of Rwanda, teen pregnancy remains the main challenge for the general population. The research made by Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) revealed that teen pregnancy is the most challenging issue in the Rwandan societies at the moment.