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Healing the Next Generation

Social and spiritual growth within the group is essential for a healthy family life. Especially following the genocide which took place in 1994. The whole country was devastated and the population traumatized. Our participants were all affected. The women share their burdens with the group and pray for one another. In addition to the associations meeting once a week, the mother leaders make home visits where they can give additional support to the families most in need. Visits to families in crisis are made by all of the members of the group and this helps to build a caring supportive community.

 

Once a month they have a parents day at the preschool.  The husband comes with his wife to the association meeting. This is to put the focus on the family and not just the mums.   On parents day they focus on NOZA IMIBANIRE YAWENUWO MWASHAKANYE (parenting improvement). 

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Promotion of the Family (MIGEPROF) has developed a manual that has 11 topics.  ERIS has adopted that manual. They focus on one topic a month at the parent day meeting.  The mother leader coordinator leads the meeting, and because she meets monthly with the program manager and ECBF caregivers the program manager trains them to present the program on parents day.  The meeting is 2 hours and the first 1.5 hour is with parents outside being trained on the topic of the day.  Then there is 15 minutes inside the school watching the children play and sing. In many cases the parents join in the fun. Afterwards they all go outside for 15 minutes and have further discussion on the topic. The mother leaders aren’t necessarily experts on all of these topics so they bring in experts from local health centres.

These are the topics:

  1. The best way to choose a partner (because so many in the rural community are not legally married the local sector leaders come to the chapel to perform a group marriage ceremony).

  2. Communication within a marriage

  3. Fighting against poverty, family development and resource management.

  4. Sex education.  Talking about disease, rape

  5. Family planning (health centre staff to facilitate)

  6. Gender equality

  7. Gender based violence

  8. Conflict management in the family

  9. Parenting

  10. Family legal framework (your rights to property)

  11. Improving family lifestyle