The New Times (Kigali)

15 June 2014

Rwanda: Church Launches Child Protection Campaign

The Anglican Church of Rwanda has launched a new campaign to protect children against all forms of abuse.

The programme started last week witha training to equip church leaders with skills needed to advocate for the rights of children and protect them against abuse. The training that took place in Kigali was also attended by officers of Rwanda National Police and local non-government organisations working in child protection.

The Bishop of Butare Diocese, Nathan Kamusiime Gasatura, told church leaders to lead the fighting for the rights of children.

"The reason we have decided to come up with this initiative is that we are confident that the population comprises of believers; so we are sure that the message from religious leaders, combined with that of local leaders, will work," explained the Bishop.

He said that although authorities are committed to protect a child against abuse, some children continue to suffer various forms of abuses in families and communities. Gasatura warned that some of the violations have permanent impact in the lives of the victims. He cited orphans as well as those in extended families as the most vulnerable.

"It is a right for children to be protected from violence, exploitation and all forms of abuses. That is why we have decided to strengthen our effort to protect them," the Bishop said.

Josephine Rwaje, the Mother's Union provincial president, said protection of children's rights should be the responsibility of every adult and should not be left to local leaders alone.

She pledged her organization's support to sensitise the population to improve the living conditions of children and families.

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