Close to eight years (2009-2017) of partnership in support of the Government of Rwanda’s National Policy on the Elimination of Child Labor, Winrock International and the Government of Rwanda celebrate their achievements and affirm commitments in accelerating the reduction of child labor by holding a sustainability workshop in Kigali, Rwanda on April 6, 2017.
The workshop to be held at Grand Legacy Hotel will attract 75 participants representing government officials, district authorities, private sector, beneficiaries, volunteers and media.
Honorable Minister of MIFOTRA Judith Uwizeye will address the Assembly and re-affirm theGovernment of Rwanda’s commitment and affirmative action to sustain notable benefits ofREACH-T in supporting existing GoR policies and programs aimed at the reduction of child labor, as well as national and district inter-agency structures enacting these policies.
Denis Test, Political Officer from the United States Embassy, will underscore the productive and collaborative partnership between and among the Government of Rwanda, Winrock International and the US Department of Labor (USDOL) in bringing REACH-T to fruition.
The project is a living testament to the country’s resolute aim to end child labor and bring forth a generation of more productive Rwanda children and youth.
This event caps years of partnership with the National Steering Committee on Child Labor headed by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour,12 districts and their District Steering Committees, the tea cooperatives and tea factories, children, participating households, vocational training centers, and private service providers in implementing effective and sustainable interventions to take children out of hazardous work and ensure that they benefit from appropriate educational programs through an integrated area-based approach in 12 tea-growing areas of the country.
The child labor initiatives in Rwanda have achieved significant outcomes, exceeding most project targets:
Provided education or vocational services to 12,713 children in or at-risk of child labor, exceeding project targets for REACH and REACH-T;
Provided livelihoods/entrepreneurship training to 1,958 households composed of 1,579 women and 379 men whose children have been provided education and vocational services. These households formed 93 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs).
Sixty-five of these VSLAs have opened accounts with Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO), making them eligible to access additional productive loans to grow their businesses. VSLA households have committed to continue the education of their children and keep them out of hazardous labor;
Developed a Child Labor Monitoring System that has now been transferred to MIFOTRA for management. Anticipating its nationwide application, the project trained all 30 District Steering Committees in the operationalization and maintenance of the system;
Provided school improvement activities to nine schools to improve learning environment and prevent drop-outs;
Produced an Occupational Health and Safety management database and tools to be used by tea cooperatives and factories, labor inspectors and youth. The OSH monitoring system has also been transferred to MIFOTRA for management; and
Integrated social protection strategies, providing community health insurance and referring 74% of beneficiary households to social protection services
The workshop is expected to develop a set of recommendations and resources required for the government and stakeholders to continue the momentum and leadership of the GoR, working in consort with tea companies, tea cooperatives and the rest of civil society, to sustain the benefits of REACH-T particularly in the area of child labor monitoring, enhancement of youth productivity; and empowerment of vulnerable households.
Hyporite, one of REACH-T’s beneficiaries once said: “Please provide education to all children, to avoid child labor if we want to have a better society”. Long after the conclusion
of REACH-T, many other Rwandan children like Hyporite will pursue education rather than child labor and be responsible and productive Rwandan citizens of the future.