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Empowering Communities: Celebrating the Graduation of 1,770 Couples from Bandebereho Education Groups in 9 Sectors Across the Burera District

On May 28th, 2024, the Bungwe sector of Burera District witnessed a significant milestone as 1,770 couples from 9 sectors across the the District graduated from the Bandebereho groups of education. The graduation ceremony was led by the Governor of Northern Province, accompanied by the District Mayor, the commander of reserved forces at the provincial level, and the RIB and police commanders at the district level. The event marked the completion of the first cycle of the Bandebereho program in the Burera District.

Bandebereho: Transforming Families and Communities

Bandebereho, a gender transformative intervention, is spearheaded by the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Health and Rwanda Biomedical Center, in partnership with the Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC), the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), and the National Child Development Agency (NCDA). The program, implemented in Burera, Gakenke, and Musanze Districts, aims to engage men as partners and parents to promote maternal, newborn, and child health, caregiving, and violence prevention. The ultimate goal is to foster healthy, safe, and resilient families in Rwanda.

The program is executed by community health workers at the village level, targeting couples where the men are aged 21 to 40 and have pregnant partners or children under five years old. The education groups convene to address key aspects of family health and well-being.

Celebrating Transformation and Growth

The graduation ceremonies took place at the cell level during public events known as "Inteko z’abaturage," led by local leaders. These events featured testimonies from couples who experienced significant positive transformations in their relationships. Improvements were noted in areas such as couple communication, men’s engagement in supporting their pregnant partners and during childbirth, childcare, conflict resolution, household responsibility sharing, family action planning, and reduction in excessive alcohol use. These positive changes have not only enhanced family relations but also contributed to healthy child growth and economic development within families.

The Governor praised Bandebereho and RWAMREC for their outstanding work, acknowledging the profound impact on the lives of Rwandan families.

Program Impact and Future Plans

In Burera, 3,432 couples (6,864 men and women) from 571 villages participated in the first cycle of 286 education groups. During the ceremony, 1,770 couples from nine sectors graduated, while 1,650 couples remain active in eight sectors, with their graduation planned for early August 2024. The Bandebereho groups will continue to operate in the villages of Burera, Musanze, and Gakenke.

Leadership and Community Involvement

The ceremony also saw participation from the District Mayor, reserve forces, RIB, and police commanders. In other sectors of the district, sector leaders led similar ceremonies. Couples shared moving testimonies of the positive changes in their relationships and the broader impact on their families and communities.

The Governor of Northern Province awarded certificates to the graduating couples, celebrating their dedication and the transformative journey they embarked upon through the Bandebereho program.


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