I am a young Rwandan leader, human right activist with five years of experience working with the communities of both rural and urban areas. I focused on education, advocacy and research for sexual rights, reproductive health and family planning in my country. Currently I am the country Coordinator for the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning.I worked with several organizations to reach my goals and I was the fundraising Officer of NGO in 2014/2015 where I worked on project focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention and family planning in high schools.In 2012 I volunteered in the project called Rwanda Health Education Project in Rwandan high schools of and from 2014, me and other medical Students conducted a research on Assessment of barriers for teacher to carry out sexual Education.
Rwanda is a small landlocked and developing country with around 12 million Populations, 50% being youth. We are having a great number of unwanted pregnancies and school dropout in our young coupled with a preexisting poverty, therefore increasing the number of street children. I decided to contribute to my country by advocating and teaching family planning to solve the above mentioned problems .I mainly focus on young people because they form half of our population and are the future of Rwanda.
90% of Rwandan Populations Christians and some schools and hospitals are religious based. While teaching Family planning ,religious people and and Christians tell me that I am doing against the will of God and they only want to hear about abstinence which is not forbidden by the Bible. There are also some myths that family planning methods cause infertility or other serious health problems. I give more clarifications to their concerns and we work together to balance risks and benefits of FP.
My country's biggest challenges for family planning are beliefs and myths.The best methods to address these problems are education and dialogue by focusing on advantages of family planning in the context of low income countries.
We also need to involve religious people in decision making and shaping the bright future of the country,
Finally we need to talk with people to break some taboo and traditions which are not consistent with the modern world.
In coming five years, I plan to form a dynamic forum of young people committed and willing to help the country by working voluntarily on family planning policies.
I expect to to give the youths the basics for family planning,sexual and reproductive health skills which will allow them to stand and witness family planning as the basic pillar of development and be able to challenge and influence policy makers when it is necessary for the better future of the country and the world in general.