Community Volunteers are key to successful program implementation as they work closely with beneficiaries in the community and ensure that program impact lasts beyond the life of the program. This was the message delivered at the USAID/Twiyubake workshop on December 8, 2015 attended by representatives from three Rwanda Partner Organizations namely Young Women's Christian Association of Rwanda (YWCA), DUHAMIC ADRI and Eglise Presbytérienne au Rwanda (EPR), the main purpose of the workshop was to present the Volunteer Opportunity Pathway Model.

The Volunteer Opportunity Pathway Model is an approach for recruiting, training, retaining and graduating volunteers, which builds on best practices and lessons learned through in-depth research and consultations with programs and organizations experienced in utilizing volunteers.

In the community, volunteers are perceived as a role model because of their accessibility, their knowledge and their passion to teach others.

In the USAID/Twiyubake program, volunteers commit themselves two years to voluntary service in the community, four hours each week, as recommend by the Opportunity Pathway Model. They attend trainings with Rwanda Partner Organization, get certificates and appreciation for their efforts which makes them competitive. After two years, they have the choice to transition out as by this time they have created networks and are linked to work with local authority offices or other NGOs. For those who wish to continue they can transition into new roles of the program such as a volunteer coordinator or become a volunteer for a different project component. 

Global Communities Rwanda held a two-day staff team building retreat in Rubavu from December 2-3, 2015, geared towards the power of positive attitude and team synergy including awareness of team members’ complementary roles and the importance of giving appreciation and feedback for high performance and creating a one-team approach.

Team members formed bonds and experienced theory through games stimulating body and mind.

Global Communities Rwanda attended World AIDS Day 2015 launch in Kigali celebrated under the theme “It’s everyone’s responsibility to prevent, treat HIV among our children and adolescents”. A call to prevent new HIV infections through community mobilization.

 Global Communities Rwanda is committed to increase resilience of HIV affected households to overcome economic and health shocks. Through the implementation of its PEPFAR funded USAID Twiyubake program it will strenghten clinical-community linkages and referals providing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention service including saving groups, early childhood development, community based nutrition, food security and sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents and youths.

16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women and Girls has been launched countrywide in all Districts as well as in the three Districts of City of  Kigali on November 25th, 2015.

The event launched in the yard of APACOPE primary school was attended by local authorities’ representatives of Nyarugenge District, MIGEPROF, National Women Council, USAID Twiyubake, members of the Parents Evening Forum (Umugoroba w’Abayeyi) and dwellers of Muhima.

In his opening remarks, John Ruzima, Executive Secretary of Muhima Sector, informed that Rwanda joined the world in commemorating 16 Days of Activism on Violence against  Women since 1990. This year’s theme is Stop Violence against Women and Girls - Act Now” (Kurwanya ihohoterwa rikorerwa umugore n’umukobwa ni inshingano yanjye nawe), reflecting the country’s commitment to stop violence.

USAID Twiyubake gender representative, Christine Tuyisenge, talked in an interactive session with Muhima dwellers about violence against women, causes, effects, where it occurs , strategies for prevention and response.

Participants, who are mainly members of the Parents Evening Forum, agreed that violence against women and girls exists. Poverty, use of drugs, misunderstanding of gender equality, lack of communication among family members, ignore of rights, carelessness and many other reasons being the

source  of violence.

The Parents Evening Forum, was officially launched in March 2013 and brings together both parents, men and women, at the Village level to discuss problems and challenges of their families but also potential opportunities available in the community to improve life. The forum members meet at least once a month.

In a drama play, members of the Parents Evening Forum showcased a drunken father who threaten wife and kids and its impact on the surrounding community.

Veneranda , married and a mother of 3 kids, testified the advantages of being member of the Parents Evening Forum in which conflict resolution is addressed, but also livelihood improved as members enter in the community-based health insurance and create  savings and lending groups.

In the closing remarks, the Executive Secretary of Nyarugenge District, Ezra Mutwara, talked about the importance and responsibility of both parents in a family. He encouraged the public to support the country in fighting  violence against women and girls and stressed the importance of reporting it and taking actions on issues of violence in communities and families, emphasizing the importance of the Parents Evening Forum as showcased in the presented drama play and testimony of its member.

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