The Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) has conducted a series of sensitization meetings for ex-combatants and their dependents across the country. The activity which commenced on 11th, August 2020 and ended on 13th, August 2020 was attended by one thousand seven ex-combatants and their dependents from different provinces.
The main objectives of conducting the sensitization meetings were; to enhance awareness among Ex-AGs and their dependents (women and girls) on sex and gender based violence and its impact on social and economic participation, to encourage participation of women and girls in gender oriented psychosocial support, to provide guidance to women and girls on RDRC support towards starting new livelihoods, to assist women and girls in making informed choices, to explore mechanisms towards coping with responsibilities of child care as well as child enrolment in basic education.
Addressing the sensitization meeting, the RDRC Chairperson, Madam Valerie Nyirahabineza thanked the beneficiaries for turning up in big numbers, saying the meetings would facilitate beneficiaries reintegrate well in their communities. Noting that the lectures were for their own benefit, Ms Nyirahabineza urged the members to embrace government programs to improve their livelihoods.
"Our country has good programs as well as good leadership. You should therefore take advantage of these opportunities to live better lives", Ms Nyirahabineza said. She also advised the ex-combatants to use the support given to them to develop their families.
On his part, the Director of social protection Rubavu District, Mr. Habimfura Emmanuel echoed similar sentiments. He urged the ex-combatants and their dependents to love their country for the sake of peace and stability.
The RDRC Commissioner in charge of the City of Kigali, Brig. Gen. John Bagabo urged beneficiaries while in a meeting at Nyarugenge District to follow streamlined guidance to develop. He also advised them to ensure peaceful co-existence in their communities.
The RDRC Commissioner in charge of Eastern Province Mr. Elie Mutarambirwa advised the ex-combatants to be patriotic.
Warning against domestic violence, Mutarambirwa also urged the ex-combatants to love their families.
Mr. David Munyurangabo, who is the RDRC Commissioner in charge of Southern Province, urged the ex-combatants in a meeting held in Nyanza District in Southern Province, to work for their family and national development once they receive development funds. He also advised them to enroll for skills development which will enable them to create their own jobs.
The RDRC Commissioner in charge of Southern Province Mr. David Munyurangabo sensitizes beneficiaries meeting in Nyanza District on 13th, August 2020.
The RDRC Secretary General Mr. Musoni Francis lectures Ex-combatants and their dependents at Karongi District on 12th, August 2020.
The RDRC Secretary General Mr. Francis Musoni said it is a sole responsibility of the Commission to reintegrate each ex-combatant in the community.
"This is the right time for you to enroll for vocational skills. We are prepared to receive you and train you such that you can be able to compete on the labor market", said Mr. Shyaka Sylvain an official from Rwanda Polytechnic. He added that the skills will enable them to fight poverty in their families.
Notably, both Ex-Armed Groups and their dependents have been supported economically to improve their livelihoods. The initiative will help them reduce poverty in their communities, according to Mr. Musoni Francis.
Sensitizing members of Ex-Armed Groups and their dependents meeting is a social development expert from Huye District, Madam Kanamugire Yvette. The event took place on 11th, August 2020.
The RDRC staff Mr. Kabalisa Joseph orienting the beneficiaries during a sensitization meeting held in Southern Province in Huye District on 12th, August 2020.
Ex- combatants and their spouses’ reactions:
(Rtd) Sgt. Ngirabahizi Jean from Rubavu District in the Western Province applauded the Commission for offering ex-combatants economic support. He said he will use the support offered to him to engage in farming to improve his family's livelihood.
Claudine Uwase from Birembo sector in Nyabihu District commended the Commission for reintegrating them well in the society. She said the Commission has supported her family to improve its welfare. "Thanks to RDRC. We really appreciate what it has done for us", she said.
(Rtd) Cpl Ndagijimana Ejide from Kamonyi District in the Southern Province echoed similar remarks. He lauded the RDRC and the government of Rwanda for effective reintegration of Ex- Armed Groups and their dependents. He said he will use the support given to him in livestock farming.
(Rtd) Private Mudaheranwa Silvano from Kibirizi Sector Nyanza District commended the Commission for organizing ex-combatants sensitization meetings that enabled them acquire adequate knowledge to develop their families and communities.
Madam Nyiransabimana Reachel from Matyazo Village in Huye District said she will enroll for skills development to enable her to fight poverty in her family.
(Rtd) Private Muhizi Theodore from Kayonza District in the Eastern Province thanked the government of Rwanda for giving extra -care to ex-combatants. He said he will support the government programs for the sake of peace and security.
Nikuze Ancilla, a dependent from Rutsiro District appreciated the lectures given to her. She said she will apply what she learned in the seminar for her individual as well as family development.