Early Childhood Development Center to address child rights challenges in Rubavu District


Officials visiting RWANDA-DRC Rubavu Border to assess child rights protection

Rubavu 26th January 2017- Minister Nyirasafari Esperance has called upon leaders and parents to join efforts in ending problems that still hinder children rights in Rubavu District.

One of the major issue in this District is children that are left at the border connecting Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo by their mothers who cross over for business and work. The busy border known as Petite Barriere counts between 45,000 and 50,000 users per day, 90% of which are women. 74% of the cross border traders are women involved in informal business and most of them will be obliged to leave their children behind because they cannot afford to pay for their travel documents and are not sure of their security at the other side.

Uwimana Beatrice is one of the mothers says they are aware that this is not an appropriate practice but they do not have other options: “the money we make with what we do here is for survival, we cannot afford to pay for our travel documents and ten thousand more for our children, we choose to leave them here and we already have volunteers who take care of them, whom we pay between four and six hundred Rwandan francs per day.”

Minister Nyirasafari has commended the hardworking spirit among women in Rubavu but stressed the fact that children rights should not be neglected for the sake of work and business. “we need to bear in mind that our children are the ones we work for, we cannot put them at risk while making money. We have to work together to find a solution to this.” The Minister noted to trigger the concern of mothers in the first place.

She mentioned that the Government has a plan of establishing Early Childhood Centers at Cells level and that the border area will be a priority considering the children condition that needs emergency intervention. Minister Nyirasafari explained that this center will ensure security and wellbeing of both mothers and children. She also encouraged women traders to join cooperatives to join efforts and share responsibilities, taking care of the little ones among them.