The BAHO program is short for Building and Strengthening Healthy Households. It takes its name from the Kinyarwanda imperative form of the verb "to live", as the project mission is to provide couples with an opportunity to live in a safe household free from domestic violence using the Indashyikirwa model. Care Rwanda directs and funds the initiative implemented with RWAMREC's assistance. The Indashyikirwa couple curriculum, co-designed by CARE InternationalRwanda and RWAMREC, achieves this goal.
This curriculum has effectively improved women's economic situations by reducing intimate partner violence (IPV). The program involves women's economic empowerment activities and engaging men as allies for gender equality. It also uses digital messaging and mass media/radio to raise awareness. The program works to shift attitudes around violence and control of women's mobility and financial assets. It promotes positive behaviours like communication, positive masculinity, shared household chores, and joint decision-making. Indashyikirwa has achieved scale and expanded beyond small pilots through government and civil society support.
The Indashyikirwa model operates on various levels:
Firstly, CARE and local partners provide couple curriculum training for couples at the household level with a curriculum that promotes healthy and equitable relationships among couples. This training reduces gender-based violence and increases women's economic decision-making power. Women participants are selected from VSLAs and bring their partners for couples training.
Secondly, the program engages women in VSLAs outside their homes, which has proven to increase access to resources through savings and small businesses.
Lastly, at the village level, the Indashyikirwa collaborates with opinion leaders and the government's "Friend of the Family" community-based volunteer network to organize regular community-level dialogues that shift gender-based violence norms.