Friday, 24 August 2012

Rwanda : Nyaruguru District Gets A Children’s Forum Committee

300px NyaruguruDist Rwanda : Nyaruguru district gets a children’s forum committee
A six-child forum committee has been voted at the Nyaruguru district level, in Southern Rwanda, as part of the country’s programme to elect child representatives in a bid to best channel their fellows’ problems to higher instances for solutions.

A total of 84 children, six per each of Nyaruguru’s 14 sectors, made up the electorate. And six children – all of them teens – emerged as the winners after the voting process. They occupy six corresponding positions, namely a president, a deputy president, a secretary, two counselors or advisers and a representative of the disabled.
Bonafide Fanaka, Augustin Bavugibumva, Valentine Uwamahoro, Brigitte Shukuru, Alexis Nshimiyimana and Noella Uwase, respectively, were voted to fill in the posts for a three-year term in office.
“I will put much effort in having a cultural troop and I will make sure that my fellow children’s concerns get enough advocacy at much more competent instances”, said 15-year-old Fanaka, as she detailed her manifesto.
A first-year high school student in Ngera sector, Fanaka says there used to be a children’s “underrepresentation” at decision-making levels, and believes the newly-elected forum committee will help reverse the situation.
Equally optimistic is Noella Uwase, 15, who has been voted to represent children with disability at the Nyaruguru district level.
“Thanks to a good rapport I already have with the head teacher at our school HVP Gatara [a school of disabled in Southern Rwanda], I will advocate for the disabled children across Nyaruguru to get wheel-chairs”, said Uwase, a first-year high school student.
These are unpaid roles, but children don’t mind. These child leaders will only be getting incentives like bus tickets to reach the meeting venues and will be offered a wide range of workshop trainings.
According to Raphael Uwimana, a district officer in charge of good governance, the children’s forum committee will make children “self-confident” and help “build a leadership spirit from the grassroots level”.
Similar child committees have also been set up in each of Nyaruguru’s 72 cells and 14 sectors and at theumudugudu (literally village) level – Rwanda’s smallest administrative unit.
As Uwimana put it, the current child representatives constitute a “renewed, very much operational” form of the old committees that date back to 2009. 


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