The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF-Rwanda) joined Rwandans in celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child through Girls Act Program, aiming to challenge the stereotype that girls should be solely responsible for household chores.
During the event held at GS Kagugu, it was emphasized that girls deserve equal opportunities as boys, and all that is required is confidence and hard work to achieve their goals for a better future.
Girls Act Program is one among other programs run by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF Rwanda) in Gasabo, Kicukiro, and Musanze Districts. This is a girl-led initiative meant to empower Girls and young Women to Stay Healthy and Thrive.
It covers three main components:
-Prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (and stay on treatment if HIV-positive).
-Prevent unplanned pregnancies and
-Stay in school.
AHF through its Girls Act Program will continue to support Adolescents and Young Girls with Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) to help them make informed choices and engage in healthy relationship.
Furthermore, Dr Lambert Rangira advised Girls who attended the event to stick to their education and be disciplined as it will open doors in their future.
Umuhoza Jeannette, a student at GS Kagugu, highlighted the importance of girls avoiding individuals who tempt them with gifts that may lead to harmful sexual habits.
Instead, she encouraged girls to prioritize education, leave traditional gender roles behind, excel in their studies, and strive for success. By avoiding such temptations, girls can create a path to a brighter future.
Dr. Rangira Lambert, Country Programs Manager at Healthcare Foundation (AHF-Rwanda), opposed the idea of burdening girls with housework, recognizing that it hinders their development.
Representative from RBC Dr. Mujawamariya Gisele urged parents to prioritize their children’s education, regardless of their gender.
She emphasized that teenage pregnancies lead to dire consequences such as maternal mortality, raising premature babies without adequate resources, and abandonment by families, which contributes to the growing number of street children.
Dr. Gisele emphasized that empowered women contribute to peaceful homes that are prosperous, healthy, and secure.
The Day of the Girl Child was celebrated amidst challenges faced by Rwanda, including issues of teenage pregnancy, school dropouts among students, and low self-esteem.