The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Teenage Girls Acquire Skills in Fighting Abuse

Rwamagana — Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) has conducted a two day mentoring program targeting teenage girls through lectures, games and empowerment programs.

The teenagers were drawn from Kayonza, Rwamagana and Ngoma districts.

YWCA program officer, Archimede Sekamana, told The New Times yesterday that the teenagers were imparted with life skills to protect them against abuse.

He said that the teens need to be equiped to make the right decisions and be prepared to join the job market after school.

"The trained girls are between 12-17 years...although there are also some above the age allowed to benefit too. Young women have got to think critically, to avoid HIV/AIDS for example," he said.

"For purposes of sustainability, the trained girls will disseminate the skills to their colleagues back at home through established clubs".

The chairperson of YWCA in Kayonza District, Jeannette Uwamahoro, said that the trainees were also taught sex education.

Uwamahoro said the training targeted young girls in primary and secondary schools by singling out the traits of sexual abusers and rapists.

"Each day I go out to mentor, I feel sad and cry because of the stories of young girls who were sexually abused," she said.

Delphine Umwali, 15, a senior two student at Kabirizi Secondary School, said that they had benefited a lot from the training.

She noted that education on matters related to female reproductive process would help them avoid unnecessary pregnancies.

"Young girls in primary and secondary schools get pregnant and drop- out...Those responsible for the pregnancies are our fellow students.

"Some of us are however, raped or tricked by sugar daddies, but with the awareness we got, it will be difficult for them," she said.

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