Heads of Villages and Cells in Ngororero District have been tasked to play a critical role in preventing and responding to teenage pregnancy in the community.
The call was made on Wednesday 20 February 2019 this week during a workshop that brought together more than 500 participants including 419 villages of Ngororero District and different officials including the Governor for the Western Province and Deputy Prosecutor General.
The workshop was organized by the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) in partnership with its different stakeholders namely UN Women and UNICEF to discuss on the role of local government leaders, especially at village and cell levels in addressing issues of Gender Based Violence in the community, especially teenage pregnancy.
Message by the Governor
‘‘You have the responsibility to prevent and respond to child abuse and teenage pregnancy. The security of our families is our duty. You have to be the agents of change towards addressing all issues that still hinder the community development and wellbeing of our people’’, said Governor for Western Province Hon Munyantwali Alphonse who was also the Guest of Honor.
‘‘We have all committed to bring change when we are back to our respective communities. What we have committed today has to be implemented and we will come back here to evaluate ourselves on our contribution towards addressing these issues,’’ added the Governor.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Gender Monitor Rose Rwabuhihi said that the role of heads of villages and cells in preventing and responding to teenage pregnancies is very critical as they are ones who experience these cases during their actual occurrences.
Message by the Chief Gender Monitor
''We came here today to discuss on tangible strategic mechanisms to prevent and respond to teenage pregnancy. As leaders at grassroots level, your role is very key in tackling this issue that is affecting our community. We can’t progress or achieve sustainable development if the better future of our young generations is being cut off,’’ she said.
‘‘We have to timely report perpetrators and avoid handling cases of child defilement through family negotiations. Child defilement is a serious crime that should be legally handled.’’ She told participants.
Emmanuel Dusabiyaremye, the Head of Nyange village in Ngororero Sector said that the workshop has been very fruitful as it came at the right time when the issue of teenage pregnancy is at the rise and it is negatively impacting the community and the country in general.
''This workshop is another call to us to remind our role as local leaders who daily meet and interact with the community. We have to continue using all the existing mechanisms to raise awareness on the issue of teenage pregnancy and we are optimistic that it will be addressed,’’ said Dusabiyaremye.
Heads of villages were also told to ensure prevention of Human Trafficking and drug abuse which are mostly affecting youth, stunting as well as poor hygiene.