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Home-grown and creative solutions to address ASRH & Mental Health challenges among young people.

Launch of Innovation Accelerator Phase 3

Kigali, Rwanda, 13 November 2020, through a virtual event graced by Hon. Minister of Health Dr Ngamije and Hon. Minister of Youth and Culture Rosemary Mbabazi, the third edition of  iAccelerator was launched.

Implemented by Imbuto Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Ministry of Youth and Culture, with the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) iAccelerator, a mentorship driven acceleration programme aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs with seed funding, training and skills development to generate innovative solutions in response to challenges related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexuality education, family planning, maternal health, mental health and other population development issues.

This virtual event was attended by more than 200 young people from different parts of the country and it combined two main activities – the Youth Forum and the Launch of the iAccelerator Phase 3.

In her opening remarks, the Director General of Imbuto Foundation Ms Sandrine Umutoni conveyed deep appreciation from The First Lady of Rwanda H.E Mrs Jeannette Kagame to youth and partners and underscored the necessity to invest in young people and support them in creating solutions to problems they face.

" This initiative speaks volume about the trust placed in our young people to show us what they are capable of, when given the right space to grow into positive agents of change for the betterment of our communities." She said

The  iAccelerator 3 is launched when UNFPA is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Nairobi Summit on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) where the Government of Rwanda joined other world leaders to reaffirm their commitment to achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health & rights for all!  

The  iAccelerator initiative provides an opportunity for the youth to contribute to the implementation of the Rwanda Commitments on ICPD, by coming up with innovative solutions that enhance adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health & rights.” Stated Mr. Mark Bryan Schreiner, The UNFPA Rwanda Representative, in his remarks.

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Mr. Mark Bryan Schreiner, The UNFPA Rwanda Representative, delivering his remarks.

Together with all partners here today, we continue marching forward towards a Rwanda with zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable maternal deaths and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls" :He added.

Phase 3 Challenge

In July 2020, a survey was published to hear young people’s opinions on the biggest challenges that they are facing in terms of SRHR. 100 Rwandan adolescents and youth voices were collected and reflected on the topic challenge of the iAccelerator Phase 3 call. The most received topics included both Mental Health and Persons with Disabilities.This year, the Innovation Accelerator programme seeks for innovative solutions aimed at :

  • Availing accessible ASRH information and services for adolescents and youth with disabilities.
  • Increasing knowledge and awareness on mental health issues faced by youth, and mitigating the stigma in seeking help and guide where they can find support.In her opening remarks.

" We highly support this initiative. We appreciate our partners’ efforts, but especially Youth that provide innovative solutions to tackle problems that they are facing. Young people should keep this spirit of being responsible and find solutions within themselves." Hon. Minister Rosemary Mbabazi.

Minister of Youth and Culture Rosemary Mbabazi, addressing the youth.

 

Different interventions accentuated the necessity of stimulating inclusive solutions especially during this critical period of coronavirus crisis. They emphasized the urgency of partnership among stakeholders to overcome multilateral impacts of the pandemic.

We are facing a new normal when business-as-usual approaches will not be effective any longer. That's why KOICA invests in youth' s innovative solutions to tackle unprecedented global challenge through different platforms." Mr.CHON G.Shik, KOICA Rwanda Country Director.

Mr.CHON G.Shik, KOICA Country Director, listerning to youth interventions during the event. 

During the pandemic, Tantine has continued the work of providing SRHR information to young people via the app. In addition, we have established an online system where youth would ask questions to healthcare providers and get responses instantly. This is intended to reduce unnecessary movements to healthcare facilities for simple queries.” Dr. Muzungu Hirwa Sylvain, iAccelerator Winner -2017, Developer of Tantine application.

Addressing youth in his closing remarks, The Ministry of Health Dr.Ngamije, argued them to be responsible of their own health , and make responsible decisions in order to avoid temptations which lead to negative effects such as unwanted pregnancy among teenagers and young people.

Guest of Honor, Minister of Health Dr Daniel Ngamije delivering closing remarks at iAccelaretor 3 Launch.

"Youth should be bold and not fear to say no to sex when they don't want. Teenage pregnancy is a serious issue to be addressed in innovative way." Dr Daniel Ngamije said.

For more information on iAccelorator phase 3 challenges and application submission, click on the link: http://imbutofoundation.org/iaccelerator/.