57 parents from Rwabicuma Sector, Nyanza district graduated from Families Matter Program (FMP) on 29 April 2021. They assured to boost the positive parenting in their families and becoming the ambassadors of the FMP Program.

The Program supported through the USAID Turengere Abana Program contributes to promoting positive parenting practices, effective parent-child communication about sex-related issues, and sexual risk reduction.

In a group of 18 to 30 individuals, the parents in FMP Program meet weekly for a session of three hours on average. They cover the curriculum of seven modules to make it to the graduation day.

Françoise MUKAGAHIGA, a mother of 8, 3 of them under the support of the DREAMS Component of the USAID Turengere Abana Program, wished the Program would have lasted longer than it has been. She said that the Program personally impacted her and her children.

“The program supported me financially and I was able to satisfy my children’s needs”, said Françoise. “I guarantee, and I think it is the same understanding as my colleagues, to improve the positive parenting in my family. I also hope to increase the sexual reproductive education to my children,” she added.

Apart from the financial support received from the FMP Program, parents testified that they gained incredible skills in positive parenting and effective parent-child communication about sex-related issues.

“Before joining the FMP, any time my daughter launches the sexual reproductive health conversation, I would affront her thinking she is engaging in sexual activities with boys or men. However, after this program, my understanding has changed. I am nowadays the one kicking off the sexual reproductive health conversation in my family,” testified Francine Musabemungu one of the FMP beneficiaries.

Parents from this cohort of the FPM Program also learnt that the children or adolescents don’t ask sexual reproductive questions because of engaging in sexual activities but because they are curious.

“I learnt that children and adolescents are curious about sexual reproductive health. It hopes to educate them through regular conversation than inhibiting their curiosity,” added Musabemungu.

The graduated beneficiaries plan to establish their internal lending and Saving Groups to enhance their financial stability by applying what they learnt from the FMP. They also promised to be the ambassadors of the program to other parents.

The FMP intervention is a community-based, group-level intervention that aims at reducing sexual risk behaviors among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (GYW) including the delay of sexual debut. The initiative is covered by the volunteers (FMP “Facilitators”).