Seraphine N. is a community health worker (CHW) working in Nyiramuko village, Cyivugiza cell, Muko sector, Musanze district. As a CHW she is in charge of issues around family planning, malaria, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and nutrition. Once a month she organizes the growth monitoring session and cooking demonstration in the village kitchen.

Since the USAID Twiyubake program implemented by Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Rwanda (FXB) started in Musanze district she has been invited and regularly attends the program’s quarterly meeting with CHW and health promotion CBVs. In the quarterly meeting, she was introduced to the USAID Twiyubake community based nutrition program which is supporting the monthly growth monitoring sessions and PDH groups.

PDH is a community-based approach aiming at reducing the prevalence of malnutrition among children under five years within a short period of time. During the PDH sessions, the children are fed nutritious meals which the parents prepare using ingredients they have contributed. The positive deviant households have mothers of well-nourished children from poor families facing the same resources and risks as parents with children showing symptoms of malnutrition, these households train the community on best household nutrition practices. After the hearth session, volunteers in collaboration with the CBVs continue to monitor the children’s growth and support the families to apply the new behaviors they have learned.

In Nyiramuko village four children were found with moderate malnutrition in the last GMP session. These children were referred to the PDH group Seraphine and a CBV initiated in her village for a two week’s period.

After this two weeks, three children gained normal weight. One three years old girl remained in the PDH. She weighed 9.3 kg when she entered the PDH session and was able to reach 10.5 kg. Now Seraphine is visiting her every day at her home to follow up on her. Her mother cooks a separate meal for the child, the child is fed with milk she received from the health center and is eating an egg once a week.

Although the household is not enrolled into the USAID Twiyubake program, they replicated a kitchen garden next to their house from the nearby USAID Twiyubake farmer field school. On their kitchen garden they plant different vegetables for household consumption.

 

Pascasie T. is 23 years old, she lives with her mother and her 3 younger siblings in Ruryango Village, Mutunda cell, Mbazi sector in Huye District. In 2016, DUHAMIC ADRI enrolled her mother, a widow, into the program and Pascasie benefitted the youth services. She is a member of the youth saving and sexual reproductive health and rights group and received a training in work readiness. In the saving group she once took a small loan to buy food for her family when her mother was sick and from the SRHR group she learned the importance of decision making regarding her sexual life.

Pascasie was able to complete secondary 3 but since then she did not return to school. Her mother was not able to afford the school fees and she didn’t feel to go back to school instead she wished to learn a trade which she would use to earn an income.

In March 2017, she was eligible for the USAID Twiybake scholarship to attend technical and vocational education and training (TVET) provided to 596 youths who had completed at least 9 years of basic education and were out of school. She selected a six month course in hair dressing and completed a two months internship in a hair salon in Huye town.

She is now braiding hairs in her village which allows her to gain Rwf 2000 per week. Now, she is supporting her mother and sisters with basic needs in the household.

Pascasie and her mother are both HIV positive. Pascasie takes ART since 2011. She is seeing her future in a small town in the eastern province where her aunt lives. There, she saw potential for her trade and feels comfortable to start an independent life.

Bosco M., is 33 years old. He is living with his wife and three children in Remera sector, Musanze district. One year after his marriage, a conflict arose between him and his wife, Maria. Bosco’s perception was that he is the only decision maker in his household while his wife has not a word to say as she was not generating income. He used to come home late every night, he kept drinking until midnight and came home in a very bad mood, threatening everybody. He did not support his household financially as they had no value for him and ended up leaving his wife seeking for another wife who is capable to take better care for him.

In 2016, his wife and children were enrolled into the USAID Twiyubake program. When the program started mobilizing men in the community on gender issues, a USAID Twiyubake male champion invited Bosco and other men in his village to discuss on gender equality and its benefits in the family. The male champion who knew that Bosco was the husband of Maria, continued to visit him at his home. He trained him on gender equality, and that men and women are equal regardless of their biologic physiology. Meaning that they have the same rights. He also convinced him that there is no household that can develop without sharing ideas, views and opinions.

The male champion visited Bosco several times until Bosco decided to return to his wife and work for his family. He changed completely and decided to become a male champion. He was then trained on positive masculinity and decided to reach out to his former friends to transmit gender messages. “I realized that my children were emotionally affected by my attitude towards the family but after gaining full knowledge on gender I decided to change”, he said.

Today, Bosco is enjoying his life with his family and is grateful to be part of the USAID Twiyubake program which has changed his behavior through the counselling and training provided by the male champion. Now, he takes time to listen to his wife, he is not defensive anymore, instead he is offering alternative solutions and valorizing her ideas. He considers the role and responsibilities of his wife in the family development and welfare. He is accountable for the way he uses resources and he shares information with his wife.

He is even considered as a role model regarding positive masculinity in his village. Male champions are working hand in hand with USAID Twiyubake staff to end gender inequalities and family conflicts. They play a huge role to educate other men in overcoming barriers affecting women’s advancement related to gender bias and stereotypes.

USAID Twiyubake implementing partner in Nyarugenge district African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) created the Twisungane saving group on July 29th 2016 in Rwesero cell, Kigali sector. The group is composed of 18 members. Out ofthe 18 members, 12 are indigenous traditional potters who used to live isolated from the society and impoverished.

“We used to be shy. The USAID Twiyubake program trained us on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. We received the conditional household grants which supported our basic needs. But we were really looking for an income generating activity as a group”, explained Clementine, President of the Twisungane saving group.

USAID Twiyubake linked the group to the “Cana Rumwe” government supported program. A program which is promoting the production and dissemination of improved clay cooking stoves. The clay stoves reduce firewood use by 50 % and are environment friendly. As a startup capital each group member provided Rwf 7000. The local administration of Kigali sector linked them to a training on improved stove production and a market of 1000 stoves to be sold at Rwf 2000 each.

“Now we are contributing to the sustainable development of our country. We feel integrated and valued”, explained one member.

The group started a new cycle with a vision to become a cooperative. They plan to expand their business beyond improved cooking stoves and buy new equipment to start a diversified clay production such as dishes, plates, cups and bowls.

 Connect with Us  Facebook7Twitter7