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Rwanda pledges to eradicate delinquency, demands security forces to intervene

The Rwandan Government has set aside more than three billion Rwandan francs to be used in its mission to eradicate all forms of delinquency behavior by inculcating positive behaviors, educating and providing professional skills to these Groups of people most of them are below 18 years old.

This was announced this Thursday, June 7, 2018 by the Rwandan authorities during the second graduation of former Street-children who have been undertaking special education at Gitagata Rehabilitation Center in Bugesera District, Eastern Province.

During the ceremony where the 63 children who attended various courses that will facilitate them reintegrate and reunite with their respective families, the State Minister for Development and Social Affairs in the Ministry of Local Government, Dr. Alvera Mukabaramba said that one of the major problems that makes children leave families is “disputes between parents.”

But this among others is to be addressed because the Government has taken very serious measures, but initially, as said, Bosenibamwe Aimee, the Director General of National Rehabilitation Service (NRS), “Today we are using soft measures like mobilization from the family level, but, the time to enforce the law will also come if these measures are not giving the results we want.”

Families whose children graduated today signed agreements between them and the NRS to make sure that their children are not back to the streets.

In 2017, about 66 children who graduated from the same Centre six of them returned to the Streets.

Many children are found in different parts of Kigali City and they come from 30 districts of Rwanda.

In each District there is a Centre or private individuals working closely with NRS to put together those children where most of with life-threatening behaviors are sent in Rehabilitation Centers which include Iwawa and Gitagata.

Bosenibamwe also noted that the Government has officially launched activities of construction of infrastructures here in Gitagata which will accommodate more than 1000 people including children below 18 Years, girls, boys and a hundred of delinquent women.

On this Thursday, Officials launch the initial stage of Upgrading the Gitagata Rehabilitation Centre composed of the Construction of a 200 Girls Hostel which is set to be complete by 30th July 2018.

“When you look at the amount of money that the Government puts in all activities of eradicating these problems, you will see that it is too much. Every month we use more than 70 million Rwandan Francs here in Gitagata. Let’s add another monthly 80 million in Iwawa too. Here we have not added wages for teachers and psychologists, who look after them daily”
“It’s too much money,” Bosenibamwe said.

At least in two years problems of delinquency and Street-children will be a history. One wonders how it will be done.

In 2017, the Rwandan Government set up the National Rehabilitation Service with the overall mission of eradicating all forms of delinquency behaviors, educating and providing professional skills to children and Youth taken out of such behaviors.

Here in 2018, things are going to change because as Bosenibamwe said in his speech during the graduation of former street-children, “In two years since today there will be no street children in Rwanda. We request assistance from the Government and the police to take further steps for a special operation to eradicate this problem”

He adds, “If we continue to look at the School dropouts’ problem irresponsibly, there will be negative impacts to the wellbeing of the Society. Let us join our forces. For parents you are obliged to do all possible so that your children stay in your families. Why do you see them becoming street children? It must change in order to eradicate these deviant behaviors.”

However other cause that leads many children in the streets is “poverty in their families”. For Minister Mukabaramba “The Government is doing all possible to assist these families” She explained.

“But if you see a lot of children walking on the streets, they come from families who can take care of them. Most of the children come from medium income families.”

Since Rwanda began its rehabilitation, reintegration and reuniting street children and delinquents to their families, more than 15 thousand people have benefited from this program.

Some of them have created jobs that generate money, others have returned to the School and even there are some who are in Universities and others who have already completed their University studies.

“Today Rwanda has 2000 children living in the streets as statistics from National Children Council shows.” Bosenibamwe revealed

“We continue with programs aimed at changing their behaviors. They are children who change and many of them are very intelligent. Some children are having effects of drugs abuse, but we give them all required assistance, as the progress, each child changes gradually because their problems are different, “explained the Director of the Gitagata Primary School, also known as Gitagata Rehabilitation Center.

One of the young people who was educated in Gitagata, Hakizimana Emmanuel, today he has  A0 Level diploma that he has just obtained from the University of Rwanda-College of Education with the option of “Special Exclusive Education”.

“I was 12 when I left my family to the street. The cause of that was poverty in my family. Today I am a holder of A0 diplomat in Special Exclusive Education. I do not have a job yet but I hope Gods will give me that job at the right time. I’m ready to serve my country.”

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