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Nothing for youth without youth

Empowering adolescents and young people in Rwanda to realize their rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Early and unintended pregnancy has a severely negative impact on girls’ education. With the majority of teenage mothers never completing school, our girls are prevented from reaching their full potential and an intergenerational cycle of poverty often prevails.

Evidence shows that for each additional year of education, there is a 10 percent reduction in fertility, which in turn will accelerate the pace of a fertility transition contributing to a favorable age structure for harnessing a demographic dividend. 

Rwanda has taken significant steps to improve the legal and institutional framework for the protection of children’s and adolescents’ rights.  Significant efforts remain to raise awareness and knowledge on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health, and the prevention of Gender-Based Violence. 

 

 

 

In partnership with KOICA, UNFPA is implementing the “Health & Empowered Youth” project that aims at empowering adolescents and young people in Rwanda to realize their human right to equality, sexual and reproductive health, and freedom from violence and discrimination project.  From April 2021, diverse campaign activities were conducted across Nyamasheke, Rusizi, and Karongi Districts of the Western Province of Rwanda, with a focus on the fight against teenage pregnancy and Gender-Based Violence in schools and local communities. 

“There are various forms of violence in our area such as child rape, teen pregnancies, gender-based violence. We’re trying to stop it because it is actually damaging the families’ well-being. We appreciate our partners’ commitment; we all work together to protect our young people.” Said Mukamana Claudette, Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Nyamasheke District. 

Pregnant adolescents and young mothers suffer from stigmatization, rejection by and violence from family members and the community, which leads to double victimization and exacerbates their vulnerability. It is very important that parents assist adolescents in accessing comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information and services to minimize the risk of early and unintended pregnancy

“Parents need to take care of their children's education. They also need to be their friends and spend quality time with them, build a strong bond and trust. Everyone should be the other parent’s eye and protect not only our children but every child. We are urging everyone to report any violence and abuse in a timely manner to local authorities. That will be a very big step in protecting our children.” Mukamana added.