By Inspirer staff
Rafiki Club has put efforts in sharing with youth more information on reproductive health, sexual infection transmission (STIs), fight against teenager’s early pregnancies , drugs prevention and Voluntary Counseling Testing (VCT),
The Club) based in Nyamirambo, Kigali, was founded by the Dominican fathers to meet the needs of a particularly disadvantaged sector of Kigali city.
According to the club coordinator, Omar Tony Nsengumuremyi The Club Rafiki Youth Friendly Center attract young people especially out of school youth to other programs of the Club Rafiki, such as sexual reproductive health discussions, HIV testing and prevention, library, access to computers and the internet.
They also access to facilities for studying (where electric light is available), language and literacy classes, hairdressing classes, karate, table tennis and outdoor activities such as basketball and basic playground gym equipment.
The club also makes available talented Basket players who join other big clubs, he said and added that every day over 300 youth come to the club’s facilities.
“They learn ICT, language, train them how to use computer for business generation, photography, dancing so that we help them curb unemployment and we reward those who perform well. A baseline we did more than 53 per cent of students who used to fail in class finally improved after gaining more skills through Rafiki club,” he said
During the celebration of girls day at kanyinya sector themed “community youth mobilization on adolescent sexual reproductive health & rights”divine Uwase, a student from S3 at GS Nzove in Nyarugenge districts said that , “lack of financial means for parents, learning bad behavior from bad friends, desiring for luxurious needs such as smart phones and garments from men and others trigger school dropouts”.
She said that she has witnessed different cases whereby girls get impregnated by men who give them expensive gifts while others get addicted to drug abuse and finally drop out of school.
The campaign was organized with partnership from Indigo Foundation
Janviere Uwera, another student said that conflicts in families extinguishes children’s morale to attend school since most of the time parents who are always in conflicts do not care for their children.
“If you have parents always in quarrels and disturbing children, attending school is not possible. Some girls expect some basic needs from boys because they do not get them from their parents and finally get impregnated.This leads to dropping out of school,” she said.
Nadia Uwase another girl studying at GS Kanyinya in Nyarugenge district echoed with those who cite lack of financial means, drug abuse, bad friends and others but also cited lack of some competent skills in class which push some to drop out.
Some girls who dropped out of school also shared the witness.
Solange Nkurunziza , the 19 year old girl in Kanyinya sector dropped out of school due to lack of financial capacity.
“After dropping out of school, I got chance to access to vocational training on hairdressing and that is what I am trying to exploit for surviving,” she said.
Esther Umutoniwase, the 12 year girl who is currently domestic worker said she came to Kigali city after her parents in Nyanza district lacked capacity to pay school fees for her.
“ We are in 2nd Ubudehe category. I could not continue to school. If I get support now, I get go back to school or join TVETs,” she said adding that even joining nine year basic education was not possible as she could not afford Rwf15,000 for school feeding and Rwf2,000 for teachers’ motivation as they are so many children at home.
According to Aimable Mutabazi, the youth coordinator in Kanyinya sector, some 28 girls dropped out of school due to early pregnancies and 18 of them were returned to school through different supports.
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