Over the past few weeks, Challenges has been supporting the development of the training, including translating much of the content into Kinyarwanda. The training will be delivered during the next week, coinciding with 16 Days of Activism, a global campaign to try to reduce violence and discrimination against women. Two weeks of follow-up training will take place in December next month, with another week in January.
Part of the work Challenges Rwanda undertakes with the coffee cooperatives is to engage the surrounding community to collectively develop solutions to the social issues they face.
It is with this focus that Challenges Rwanda partnered with RICH, an organization that has become renowned for expertise in the fight against gender based violence.
The aim of this training is to enable community leaders to become “agents of change”. Delivering this style of training means these individuals will return to their communities to teach and apply what they learned, therefore expanding the desired impact of the GBV programme.
Participants will learn about existing sex and GBV laws, and how to use that information to care for and support victims of male violence, including the procedure for reporting and other actions.
Matching the global trend, there has been an increase in violence against women in Rwanda. The Rwandan national public prosecution authority registered 505 rape cases in 2017/2018, compared to 308 cases registered the previous year. This is in addition to 1091 cases of domestic violence registered in 2017/2018, compared to 736 cases in 2016/2017.
This training is also complemented by a drive to widen access to reliable reproductive health information, especially for teenage girls and young women following a spike in teenage pregnancies, according to the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey.
As we prepare to roll out the training, Challenges Rwanda has also developed a plan to monitor and evaluate the larger impact of the training. We hope to see an increase in the number of people who are using the protocols set out to support GBV victims and to drive initiatives, led by the agents of change in the community, to raise awareness of, and combat, violence against women.