The Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka has said that the youth have a bigger role to play in shaping the destiny of their country and appealed to them to be an igniting force to ensure security as a backbone for sustainable development.
The Minister was speaking on September 16 at the Rwanda National Police General Headquarters in Kacyiru where he presided over the opening of a three-day retreat of 87 district coordinators of Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing (RYVCP), and District police Community Liaison Officers (DCLOs).
The retreat seeks to strengthen partnership and capacities of the youth volunteers and liaison officers in crime prevention.
Minister Kaboneka noted that youth volunteers and DCLOs play a significant role in ensuring public safety and “we have witnessed this through cases reported and crimes stopped before happening...you took a decision of dedicating your efforts towards crimes prevention – it is a right decision you made and your country is proud of you.”
He went on to remind them that they are not only serving their nation but making Rwanda a better place for both nationals and visitors.
Minister Kaboneka made the reference to Gallup 2015 Global Emotions Report that ranked Rwanda as the safest place to walk at night in Africa and 5th globally.
“This was achieved because of your effects but you can’t settle for this. We have to multiply our efforts until we lead the global table.”
The Minister challenged both youth volunteers and DLCOs to be patriot, dedicated, hardworking, disciplined and be honest at all times in order to win public trust... “If anyone misses out on any of the values then it will be hard for you to achieve your goals.”
He urged them to put more efforts in fighting crimes like radicalisation, drug abuse, gender based violence and human trafficking.
“This training should be a forum for you to learn more on how best you can address these issues,” Minister Kaboneka said.
The training is part of the implementation of the existing agreement between RNP and RYVCP which binds both parties to partner in community awareness and fight against crimes through promotion of community safety and human security.
During the three-day training, participants will tackle various areas including role of the youth volunteers in crime prevention, fighting corruption, human trafficking, drug abuse, gender violence and reinforcing the ongoing security and hygiene campaign, among others.
Justus Kangwagye, the Coordinator of RYVCP said “our ambition is to have a crime free society and to achieve that, we must seal our partnership with our stakeholders but also ensure that we are always ahead in crime prevention.”
Kangwagye urged local government authorities to exploit the abilities of youth volunteers and farther noted that, besides that, such joint retreats create “common understanding” between the youth volunteers and the liaison officers as people who works together on the grassroots every day.
“Such joint activities increase awareness and information sharing, enhance partnership in crime detection, prevention and reduction and gives community policing more meaning and effectiveness " said Kangwagye.
During the first national congress of RYVCP held in march this year, members adopted eight resolutions among them is working with all government institutions to implement government programs, increase the number of members to at least one million by the end of 2020.
Since then, the membership of youth volunteers grew from 20,000 to 50,000 as of current. They include secondary and university students as well as young graduates. It was created in 2013 by youth with a vision of contributing to socioeconomic development by fighting and preventing crime in partnership with the police and local authorities.
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