Rwanda: Govt to Set Up More Model Villages for Poor People

1 September 2019

The National Women Council, local government and other stakeholders will this fiscal year identify and transform 416 villages into a model village that will transform needy people's lives.

Jacqueline Kamanzi, the Executive Secretary of the National Women's Council, said that they will identify one village in each sector around the country.

"As a baseline to guide and assess initiatives for transforming their lives, the villages must have many needy households from the first and second Ubudehe categories," she said.

The figures released in 2016 show that 16 percent of the total households in the country (376,192 households) are found in Category One, which means that 1,480,167 people in these families live in extreme poverty without the ability to own or rent a house and often struggle to get food and basic items like soap.

Category Two with 703,461 households with 29.8 percent represents 3,077,816 people.

She said that to ensure that the implementation is successful it will work as a competition among the 30 districts.

Kamanzi also outlined various initiatives that will lead to transformation in those villages as guided by the National Strategy for Transformation.

"We are going to group them into Credit and Savings Groups and train them in digital literacy so that they also use ICT in their operations to beat poverty. They will be using mobile money and link them to financial institutions to embrace mobile banking system. Women will also be able to embrace e-Commerce where they can sell their goods online," she said.

She added that through the performance contracts signed, all unemployed women and girls will join TVET courses as a way to create jobs.

"We will select all women in need of TVET. We are going to coordinate all stakeholders and study what is demanded by the labour market," she noted.

The official added that there will also be indicators of improving hygiene and security in those model villages, eliminating GBV among others.

"The model villages will have no family with conflicts, no school dropouts, no domestic violence, no illegally married couples, no malnourished and stunted children. We will set up kitchen gardens and two fruit trees for each family and there will Early Childhood Development Centres. We will first assess the status of every issue such as the number of poor so that after one year we will be able to measure the results," she explained.

Each needy household will again have goats, pigs, rabbits, and other domestic animals.

The households, after graduating out of poverty, will share success stories with other needy households and stakeholders across the country to serve as a role model on how poor people's lives can become better.

Solina Nyirahabimana, the Minister for Family Promotion and Gender urged the women's representatives to be agents of change in their families' lives.

"The performance contracts of women representatives must target at transforming lives. They must focus on human security issues. We want food security in the villages, we want them to play a role in fighting child defilement," she said.

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