Oxfam Rwanda will offer financial assistance to rape victims to help rehabilitate and improve their lives. The project running until 2022 was launched in Kigali, Thursday.
Oxfam Association and Rwanda’s Ministry of Family and Gender Promotion (Migeprof) were aghast at the proportions of rape against underage girls often sitting school bench and the very negative effects of the phenomenon on their future. The effects include school dropouts, deterioration of living conditions, uncertain future and death as some attempt self-induced abortion.
Funded by the Government of Scotland, Oxfam’s rape aid project worth £ 1.3 million (about Rwf1.3 billion) will operate in Violation Alert Centers (One Stop Centers) located in Remera-Rukoma in Kamonyi District, Kabgayi in Muhanga, Gitwe in Ruhango, Kabutare in Huye, Shyira in Nyabihu and Gisenyi in Rubavu District. The centers locally known as ‘Isange’ operate within the districts’ hospitals.
Part of this fund will be offered as capital to rape victims for starting income-generating projects to help them prosper.
"We want to support them financially so that they can be self-sufficed." There are 1,000 teenage girls raped in four districts of the Southern Province and two of the Western Province who will benefit from this fund. They will receive training and start-up funds for their business, "said Patrick Wajero, Country Director of Oxfam.
"For our part, we shall continue to raise awareness of the consequences of rape, a crime that can be eradicated with the assistance of all Rwandans," said Minister at Migeprof, Esperance Nyirasafari.
She insisted on the repressive effects of this crime which is wrapped in taboos and ignorant mentalities whereby some victims believe that rape is a taboo that must be kept secret.
Statistics of the National Public Prosecution Authority indicate that 1,951 trials of rape and other domestic violence cases were recorded in the financial year 2016-17, leaving 1889 men and 62 women convicted.
Migeprof also recorded alarming statistics showing that 17,500 underage girls acquired early pregnancies that forced them to drop out of school in 2016.