The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual and universal campaign which runs from 25 November to 10 December. The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion organized this campaign in Rwanda in collaboration with partner organizations including ARCT – RUHUKA, and the National Theme for this year was: “Let’s stand together to eradicate Gender Based Violence”. (Twese hamwe Duhagurukire Kurandura Ihohoterwa rishingiye ku gitsina), where as the International one was “Orange the World”.
Through different projects , ARCT/RUHUKA has always been working on prevention of GBV and providing psychosocial care and support to the victims of GBV in all areas of intervention. During this year , ARCT-Ruhuka actively participated in this campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion , District and Sector authorities, where the Organization managed to spread messages of fighting against Gender Based Violence though the trained Community based Psychosocial Workers (CPWs) by providing community awareness raising sessions, testimonies from Couples who used experienced GBV and live in conflicts , role plays , songs and poems from the youth, distribution of brochures and t-shirts with key messages and that well highlighting the theme message on GBV prevention and care.
The campaign was particularly intense in the two districts of Rulindo and Gakenke in Northern Province, where ARCT-Ruhuka is implementing a project that addresses GBV and family conflicts with support from TROCAIRE Rwanda Office. .
The campaign was officially launched at National by the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion on 25/11/2016 in Tumba Sector of Rulindo District, where ARCT-Ruhuka was well represented by 2 Staff and Trained Community Psycho- Social Workers (volunteers from Rulindo District).
The same campaign were made at sector levels in Gakenke district organized by ARCT-Ruhuka Trained Community Psychosocial workers and Local administration authorities , where different massages on prevention of GBV , causes, consequences and care were the major topic . One of the big event was organized by the Community Psychosocial Workers in collaboration with the local authorities and was held in Rushashi Sector of Gakenke District , on the 07/12/2016 , where there was a campaign through community matching with, district representatives , Sector authorities and ARCT-Ruhuka representatives , also 45 families that were living together were legally married , followed by public talks passing massages on GBV , family conflict to prevent street children, cleanliness and hygiene , nutrition and other government programs to the gathered population.
During 16 days of activism, some of 90 CPWs from Gakenke and Rulindo District trained by ARCT RUHUKA and local leaders contributed in sensitizing couples communities on prevention of GBV, where one of the results was 46 couples that were living together illegally married legally married.
Above: The Community Psychosocial Workers carrying out Sensitization at community level during the 16 days campaign on GBV against Women and Girls
The contribution of ARCT/RUHUKA has been generally highlighted and appreciated by the authorities in Rulindo and Gakenke Districts, especially on how the ARCT/RUHUKA address family conflicts and GBV in both district through trauma healing.
The campaigns were also characterized by testimonies by couples and families helped by ARCT-Ruhuka trained Community Psychosocial Workers , in the 8 sectors of operation in Rulindo and Gakenke Districts .
This has been considered as an important step in the ongoing process of fighting against Gender Based Violence , family conflicts which is basis for peace building ,family and nation development.
Above: ARCT-Ruhuka Executive Secretary, Ms Jane Abatoni Gatete addressing the population gathering in Rushashi Sector of Gakenye District as part of community campaigns on GBV against women and girls
In her remarks, the ARCT-Ruhuka Executive Secretary underlined the impact of violence on couples themselves, the rights and wellbeing of their children, family and the nation at large. She mentioned that some of these consequences have led to separation or divorce, school dropouts, street children, poverty and many others…. She request parents to maintain their role to be protected children from those types of violence for promotion social, physical, mental and moral well being.
ABOVE: Some Community Psychosocial workers pose for a photo with Acting Executive Secretary Rushashi Sector and ARCT/ RUHUKA Staff