FXB Rwanda and leaders urged adolescent girls empowered through DREAMS project to use the skills and financial support received to achieve a durable development
On August 25,2020 , USAID Rwanda through Turengere Abana Program/DREAMS component implemented by FXB Rwanda donated Rwf131 Million to 106 saving groups of 2,387 vulnerable young women, parents and adolescent girls in Nyanza District.
The support aims at empowering them economically to cope with the COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
FXB Rwanda runs DREAMS Program since 2018 with the main goal to prevent HIV new infection among adolescent girls and young women, aged between 10-24 years old.
Diane Hagenimana 18, one of the beneficiaries said she got pregnant when she was 16 years old. She didn’t have any job and life was hard.
Hagenimana said at the time she had not had any skills concerning how to protect her dignity as a girl and she hadn’t had any vision of the future.
“When I got pregnant, I thought my life was over. My relatives, neighbors and friends used to tell me that I permanently lost my dignity,” she sadly narrated.
Miraculously, Hagenimana was taken among DREAMS beneficiaries and received a small grant of Rwf50,000 which she used like a startup capital to new life.
“Through saving groups, I took a loan of Rwf30,000 and I bought a sewing machine. For now, I already paid the loan. I managed to buy a got actually worth Rwf45,000 and I have a hen which ponds eggs for my child and I,” she said.
Besides, they have been taught how to restore and maintain their values and dignity through safe spaces and on the support of the program, they created saving groups.
“This program really changed my life. we have been supported morally and financially. Together with others, we have been given various vocational skills. I can’t find enough words to thank FXB Rwanda after changing our lives for good,” she said.
Through DREAMS, FXB Rwanda together with Nyanza District supported 7,156 adolescent girls in education and vocational training among other services.
Besides, 2387 adolescent girls and parents formed 106 saving groups and they regularly receive skills on financial services, accountability as well as income generating activities.
In 2020 alone, Rwf131 million was allocated to 848 adolescent girls and 1,539 parents as the capital to support their small income generating projects, to economically empower them and be able to prevent from HIV infection.
Emmanuel Kayitana the Director of FXB said around Rwf1.2 billion was used to implement DREAMS Program, which is touching its end in September, 2020.
Adolescent girls were taught how to restore and maintain their values and dignity, and become financial independent by creating small income-generating activities, he said.
“The first challenge was the beneficiaries’ mindset. What they need more was not money, they firstly need to have sexual and reproductive health information and skills, knowing how to protect themselves from temptations at their age and how to say no to harmful acts to prevent from HIV infection,” he said.
Erasme Ntazinda, The Mayor of Nyanza District commended the FXB Rwanda as the best key partner in the District.
“Beneficiaries have to maintain what they achieved from this project. It should be a starting point to sustainably coming out of poverty,” he said.
Ntazinda said other partners should learn from FXB support system which prepares the beneficiaries to be self-reliant at the end of the projects.
“Beneficiaries are first given skills so that at the end of the project they are able to continue their activities, with their own contribution. It is a way to create durable development,” he said.
“Rwanda has a vision of creating secure and developed population. It will be achieved together with devoted partners like FXB Rwanda,” He added.
Alice Kayitesi, the Governor of Southern Province said it is commendable to see how FXB Rwanda cares about adolescent girls.
“The adolescent girls supported today have to apply what they learnt in order to secure their future. Temptations are everywhere but they have to remember every advice and message they got from their parents and DREAMS project respectively,” She said.
Rwandan girl should not lose their future because of petty things like phones, money and food among others, she said.
“We wish you could work hard and go beyond FXB expectations. Your saving groups should prosper and becomes a cooperative even after your graduation from the program,” she told some available beneficiaries.
“We wish you should expand and implement your projects within other districts of Southern Province if the capacity is available, to change lives of many people as possible,” she added.
She asked the beneficiaries to become role models to other girls and young women in their respective communities.