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The launching ceremony of the Bandebereho scale-up project in Musanze, Burera, and Gakenke Districts was held on March 23rd, 2023, in Burera District.

This 5 yearproject is a collaborative effort betweentheRwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) under the Maternal Child and Community Healthdivision(RBC/MCCH), the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), and the National Childhood Development Agency (NCDA). The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) provides financial support for this project. Bandebereho is RWAMREC flagship intervention, and an adaptation of Equimundo Program P for the Rwandan context.It is agender transformative intervention for couples that aims toengage men as partners and fathers in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH),violence prevention and caregiving for a healthier couple relationship. The project targets expectant couples and parents of children under 5 years of age. Community health workers at the village levelare the ones facilitating weekly small group education sessions for 12 couples,for17weeks.The project seeks to positively change the gender attitudes and behaviors of men and couples to promoteimproved maternal and child health, as well as gender outcomes. The positive long-termimpact of the program has been proven by rigorous evaluation carried out through a randomized controlled trial, conducted 6 years after the implementation of the pilot program. Results showed that couples attending Bandebereho sessions showed a statistically significant positive difference across all outcomes, versus the control group.

The launching ceremony was attended by various dignitaries, including the Mayor of Burera

District, the Vice Mayor, Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) staff, the Director General of Butaro Hospital, the District Police Commander, and religious leaders, among others. Mr. Fidele Rutayisire, RWAMRECExecutive Director officiated the event. Participants pledged their support forthe Bandebereho scale-up project to achieve its expected outcomes.

Currently the RWAMREC team is busy raising the matching funds to be able to cover the total budget requested by the scale up process.


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