On 3th September 2023, FXB Rwanda through Igire-Turengere Abana program in partnership with Nyanza district organized the anti-GBV campaign under the theme ‘ Together, We Can Prevent Adolescent Girls Pregnancy’.
The campaign was held at Nyanza Stadium, backed by the friendly match between Rayon Sports FC and Al-Merrikh FC from Soudan, and the game was won by Rayon Sports FC 1-0, scored at seventy minutes. The campaign coincided with “ Gikundiro ku Ivuko’ annual program where Rayon Sports FC goes back to support the development of Nyanza district known as its origin.
Around fifteen thousand people (15000) whose majority were youth attended the sport-based campaign and received the different messages on the prevention of Gender Based Violence with an emphasis on preventing pregnancies among adolescent girls.
Emmanuel Kayitana ; the Executive Director of FXB Rwanda requested everyone’s support in fighting against GBV and teen pregnancies :
‘We want the Rayon Sports fans would support us to prevent teen pregnancies, we are requesting everyone to not keep silent, many of them are youth, and we want them to never engage in immoral behaviors that may fuel GBV. We are also requesting young girls to be self-defenders of their rights and speak out when they suspect that they are going experience GBV.’
In her key message, the permanent secretary General in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion Mireille BATAMULIZA, told the campaign attendants that the focus should be put on violence prevention, ‘ preventing violence is better than solving its consequences.’ She added that the home should be a conflict-free space and be the best starting point for promoting gender equality and respect for each other as a means of preventing violence, especially child defilement.
Throughout the campaign, different speakers reminded people of what they can do as their role to prevent teen pregnancies ; the whole community members have to : ensure that young girls have access to comprehensive sex education, facilitate GBV victims to quickly access Isange one-stop center services, change religious & cultural norms that fuel GBV, Speak out against GBV, prevent family conflict, avoid the use of excessive alcohol and drug abuse.
Demographic and Health Survey (DHS, 2019/20) has revealed that teen pregnancy numbers are rising very quickly and the burden lays in the East province followed by the southern province of Rwanda where Nyanza district is located. In Rwanda, 5% of women aged 15-19 have begun childbearing. Children born to very young mothers are at increased risk of sickness and death. Teenage mothers are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes and are more constrained in their ability to pursue educational opportunities than young women who delay childbearing. Besides all these misfortunes, teen mothers are likely to experience more forms of GBV if nothing is done to protect them.
Rwandan people should not attain health equity and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while teen pregnancy-related mortality and morbidity are increasing day to day. Therefore, everyone should be aware and alerted to prevent early childbearing and any other form of violence against children.
Funded by U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), IGIRE- Turengere Abana program, the DREAMS component seeks to prevent new HIV infection among adolescent girls and Young Women. It is in this regard, that awareness-raising campaigns are periodically organized to reduce GBV which is one of the root causes of new HIV infection among young girls. Partners and stakeholders are very thankful for the support of PEPFAR and USAID that enables to shape the future Rwandan generation free of HIV/AIDS and violence.