The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza has said that although safety and security is guaranteed in Rwanda, issues related to illicit drugs, child pregnancies, poor feeding and gender based violence remain one of the bottlenecks that should be given emphasis to address.
The Police Chief made the remarks, on Saturday while officiating at the opening of the two-day workshop for members of Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing (RYVCP).
The workshop held at Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru seeks to address some of the issues affecting security and development in communities.
IGP Munyuza thanked the youth volunteers for their commendable work in human security activities over the last five years, and urged them to realign their activities with the pressing issues.
“You fall in the policing structures as force multiplier and you are here for a reason. We expect you to leave here with a changed mind and with purpose to fight illicit drugs, be the voice and eye against all sorts of child abuse and spread the message on proper feeding of children,” IGP Munyuza said.
Human security and community development activities conducted by RYVCP since its creation in 2013 are valued at about Rwf700 million.
These include construction and rehabilitation of over 13300 houses for the disadvantaged families, construction and rehabilitation of 1440km of roads linking communities, construction of 1989 toilets, planting of about 700, 000 trees as part of the afforestation and environmental conservation programme.
“You are not involved in all these for a pay but because of your patriotic heart and sacrificing for your country. We call for your strong partnership to guarantee the better future for the youngsters who are being seduced into sexual malpractices and drugs,” the IGP said.
Nadine Umutoni Gatsinzi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, observed that cases related to teenage pregnancy and family conflicts continue to rise.
The PS said that the youth were identified to partner in addressing such challenges including actively engaging in the customary social coercion traditionally known as umugoroba w’ababyeyi and educating communities on proper feeding for good health, child protection, family planning and the ongoing ‘Girl2Leader’ campaign.
Launched early last month, Girl2Leader campaign seeks to encourage girls to unlock their leadership potential and to bring together different public and private institutions, parents, children, youth, leaders, teachers and the general public to prevent and combat teen pregnancies and defilement in particular.
Reports indicate that the number of teen mothers is high in the districts of Gatsibo, Nyagatare, Kirehe, Bugesera, Gasabo, Rubavu, Kayonza, Musanze, Ngoma and Rwamagana.
The 2018 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis report also identifies Burera, Gicumbi, Gisagara, Nyaruguru, Ngororero, Nyamasheke and Rutsiro as the districts where cases of poor feeding remain high despite the overall 8 percent reduction in the whole country.
Abdallah Murenzi, the national coordinator for RYVCP, said that the organization is composed of the educated and elite young people, who have the will and ability to understand and address issues at hand.
“We have members and structures down to the village level, and we will leave here with priority tasks; to make umugoroba w’ababyeyi active, educate the people on proper feeding, continue Umuganda especially constructing organic gardens and focus much on campaign against drugs in schools,” Murenzi said.
The youth group, which has about 260, 000 members across the country, also constructed about 6000 organic gardens, locally known as akarima k’igikoni to supplement the national efforts against malnutrition.