Peace and Hope Initiative works to transform former beggars and people with disabilities into rights defenders
By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
Peace and Hope Initiative is doing the utmost to turn former beggars and people with disabilities into valuable citizens who are able to defend their rights and to work for their social economic development.
In a project to change their lives, the Peace and Hope Initiative and its partners, including the Rwanda Governance Board and UNDP, continue to make every effort to change the behaviour of 70 families in the Kimironko sector, which includes former beggars and people with disabilities as well as their children.
Activities that aim to bring Change in these Families are being implemented by the Peace and Hope Initiative through the Project entitled “Equip Children and Women Beggars as well as Persons with Disabilities with Skills for Life”.
In addition to the fact that these families have been integrated into the “TUZAMURANE” Group where they are working on projects that help them develop, these families are now also being trained on human rights and combating sexual violence as some of the issues that threaten wellbeing of the Rwandan society.
When a TOPAFRICANEWS reporter arrived in Kimironko sector on Tuesday, he found that 70 families with their children were being trained on the rights of the child in particular and the role they must play in combatting sexual violence.
There is no doubt that these families benefit greatly from the training, given that almost all of them may have experienced the violation of their rights while they were still in the begging life and in other bad habits.
In an interview with some of them they confirmed that they have already gained confidence and now can see the promising future as never before.
Mrs. Ugiriwabo Julienne, President of TUZAMURANE Cooperative said “here we are in different categories, there are people with disabilities, there are widows and there are people with some symptoms of loneliness and other types of trauma.”
“So, with the blessing of being trained on Violence and human rights, they are now going to who they are, know their rights, and know their value, and everyone should now know that there is something to change in their lives, both in reporting violence cases and in society, at home, in the family and in the group everyone should be given the value as a human being.”
In fact, when these families began to be assisted by the end of 2020, they were in very critical conditions, but now when you see them, there are happy and positive changes in their faces.
The fact that activities aimed at empowering them economically go hand in hand with educating them on their rights is a major step towards transforming their lives but also not only changes physically but also in the mind.
Twahirwa Innocent, the Project Coordinator said that through such training, beneficiaries are able to understand their rights.
“We have a training program for beneficiaries, educating them about sexual violence against women, teenagers and children in different ways and places.” Twahirwa explains.
“Otherwise in order to know that a person has been abused he/she must be aware of his/her rights. So the training we give them is first and foremost for educating them on their rights and then to look together at the violence they face and find solutions together.” He said
As they become more aware of their rights and continuous advocacy, they become more and more involved in the development process so that even the causes of violence can be eliminated.
For example, since they began to be supported through the Peace and Hope Initiative, many said that they no longer get insulted as they used to when they were beggars on the street.
Mrs. Nyampinga Joseline has two children who are assisted by the project in their education.
She says being a beneficiary of the project has given her confidence and confirms that if she hadn’t had the opportunity to get school materials for her children it would have been difficult for her since her husband also doesn’t have enough means to sustain the family’s living conditions.
“Since we enrolled in the project they have helped me with school materials, and today they are going to give me more. They have helped me a lot, and my husband is not in the position to afford all family needs. We really can’t figure it out because it’s beyond our comprehension. It is very gratifying for us that they have restored our hearts in such a great way. Life outside here is not easy. But seeing someone give you school materials and help you thrive is not always easy. ” Mrs. Nyampinga said.
Mr. Derrick Ndede Asenah, the Project Finance Officer explained that through this project beneficiaries have been able to raise their incomes specifically as a group and at a personal level.
“Since we started the project there is this mushroom growing that we have developed together with the beneficiaries. Since we started in April 2021, until now we have been able to get almost Rwf 2.2 million and when you calculate the profits, it is Rwf 800,000. Such a profit within a period of six months, I think that is something we should be proud of.” Mr. Derrick said.
Like various other Peace and Hope Initiative activities, whether for the benefit of the Kimironko beneficiaries or the activities in the Kinyinya sector, Mr. Albert Musabyimana, the founder of the organization, confirms that everything is in line with contributing to the country’s socio-economic development because, as he said, either him or everyone else they appreciate the role of the good leadership of the country that prioritizes and values its citizens.
“As I often repeat, the activities of the Peace and Hope Initiative are aimed at giving back to our country that has done well for us when we were in a difficult situation. That is why we are happy that such activities are helping to change the lives of our beneficiaries. The first is to work together and strive for sustainable development for all.” Mr. Musabyimana said.