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BANDEBEREHO

BANDEBEREHO (‘ROLE MODEL ’ IN KINYARWANDA) WORKS WITH MEN AND COUPLES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN TO PROMOTE MEN'S ENGAGEMENT IN REPRODUCTIVE, MATERNAL, AND NEWBORN HEALTH, VIOLENCE PREVENTION, CAREGIVING, AND HEALTHIER COUPLE RELATIONS IN RWANDA.

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WHERE

Musanze, Burera and Gakenke Districts, Rwanda

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PARTICIPANTS

Couples aged 21-35 and children under 5

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Journey of Transformation of 17 weekly sessions

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A STRONGLY EVIDENCED PROGRAM

Bandebereho transforms traditional norms of masculinity in Rwanda by using fatherhood as an entry point to promote men’s participation as caring, non-violent and supportive fathers and partners.

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LONG-TERM POSITIVE IMPACTS ON HEALTH AND GENDER-RELATED OUTCOMES

CHALLENGES WE FACE

Traditional gender norms perpetuate gender inequality and power imbalances between men and women, which limit men's involvement in reproductive, maternal, and newborn health, drive violence against women and children, and create an unequal division of care.

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43% of ever-married women aged 15-49 have experienced spousal violence

23% of currently married women  make decisions about their earnings.

 37% of children age 2-4 left alone or in the care of another child under age 10

ENGAGING MEN AS A SOLUTION

Bandebereho engages men, alongside their partners, to challenge unequal gender norms and power dynamics. Community health workers facilitate the 17-session curriculum (4 months) with small groups of men and couples in their communities.

KEY PRINCIPLES:

  • Grounded in gender equality.

  • Explicitly engages men alongside women.

  • Applies a strengths-based approach to parents.

  • Uses participatory approaches to foster learning and reflection.

  • Prioritizes women’s safety and autonomy.

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WHY ENGAGE MEN?

Engaging men can foster gender equality by creating more equitable relationships and violence-free households and support women's empowerment while mitigating potential societal backlash.

THE BANDEBEREHO APPROACH: FATHERHOOD AS AN ENTRY POINT

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Parenthood offers men
chances for engagement,
leading to potential
behavioural changes.

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Many men want to be
more involved in their
children’s lives.

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Parenthood can lead to
increased openness to
changing attitudes in men

and women.

UNPRECEDENTED OUTCOMES 

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 1,199 couples was conducted from 2015 to 2021 to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the Bandebereho pilot.

The RCT showed strong statistical results and positive, sustained outcomes that are unusual because of the length of the RCT.

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PARTICIPANTS SURVEYED AT MULTIPLE TIME POINTS:

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ONE PROGRAM: MANY IMPACTS

60%

Decrease emotional Intimate partner violence. 

Decrease in economic Intimate Partner Violence

53%

32%

Decrease in child physical punishment by men (28%)  and women (32%).

16%

Decrease men's dominance 
in decision-making.

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Decrease in sexual (35%) and physical (32%) Intimate partner violence

Reduced depressive symptoms for men (48%) and for women (50%)

35%

50%

14%

Increase in father engagement in antenatal care.

Increase sharing of childcare and household tasks with partner.

16%

BANDEBEREHO TIMELINE

BANDEBEREHO was first implemented in 2013 as part of the MenCare+ project in partnership with Instituto Promundo (now Equimundo).

BANDEBEREHO scale-up through the health system was piloted in Musanze District, testing the feasibility of the scale-up using Community Health
Workers (CHWS).

Cascading training of
CHWs from one district to three districts, optimizing the model for delivery by the health system, to inform a national scale-up strategy.

Scale-up of
Bandebereho
nationwide, led by a
Government-approved
national scale-up
strategy in all 30
districts of Rwanda.

SCALING UP 

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  • Bandebereho is being taken to scale in partnership with the Rwandan Government, led by a multi-sectoral technical advisory group chaired by the Maternal, Child and Community Health Division of the Rwanda Biomedical Center.

  • Rwanda's cadre of Community Health Workers (CHWs) are being trained to facilitate the Bandebereho program as part of their routine work.

  • The current phase of scaling includes iterative cycles of research designed to adapt, test, and optimize the program for delivery by the health system. The findings will inform a nationwide scaling strategy.

GOVERNMENT PARTNERS

TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL PARTNERS

MEET OUR TEAM

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Fidèle

Rutaysire

Executive Director

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Alice

Uwera

Director of Finance and Administration

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Emmanuel Karamage

Bandebereho Project Coordinator

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Jonathan 
Munyanziza

Head of

Quality Assurance

WHAT OUR PARTICIPANTS SAY

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CELESTIN & OLIVA
Couple graduates in group educations

Before participating in the Bandebereho program, our understanding of gender roles was clouded by misconceptions. However, through the insightful training sessions, we've undergone a profound change. We now actively support each other within our family, driven by the realization that equality is paramount in marriage. We take immense pride in being part of the Bandebereho program and extend our heartfelt thanks to RWAMREC for making this transformative journey possible.

MUKAYISANGA & UWAMUNGU
Couple graduates of the 5th cycle group education

The Bandebereho journey of transformation has undeniably been a life-changing experience for both us and our children. Among the many valuable lessons we've learned, one stands out: the art of nurturing our children while fostering positive communication among ourselves. Through the Bandebereho program, we've not only enhanced our parenting skills but also emerged as proud role models within our community.

MUKANDAMAGE Julienne, Community Health Worker (CHW) in Musanze District

Working as a Community Health Worker within the Bandebereho project since 2019 has profoundly shaped my perspective and abilities. The Bandebereho program couldn't have arrived at a better time, enriching me with invaluable skills to assist both my community and my own family. I'm deeply thankful for the comprehensive trainings provided, which have empowered me to make meaningful contributions and create positive change.

BANDEBEREHO MANUAL

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