Preventing the legacy of poverty by strengthening parents' knowledge on children's development

Program start 2016
Impacted population 15,000

In Rwanda, FXB conducts an ambitious early childhood development program.

Context

Rwanda is still affected by the 1994 genocide, during which nearly one million Tutsis were massacred. The democratically elected Rwandan Patriotic Front gradually restored order, security and then civil service and ensured the stability of the country.

Rwanda was one of the few countries that had been able to achieve most of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Substantial progress has been made in poverty reduction, education and HIV prevention.
Despite these successes, Rwanda is still a poor country, ranked 158th out of 189 by the latest UNDP Human Development Index in 2018. It faces significant development challenges. Chronic malnutrition, poor infrastructure, lack of access to electricity, early childhood development, child mortality, the quality of education and the prevention of violence against children all require sustained attention.

Our action

Known locally as Sugira Muryango and conducted in partnership with the Boston College in the districts of Ngoma, Nyanza and Rubavu, this ambitious early childhood development programme – aiming to train 10,000 parents by 2022 – offers 12 interactive modules, spread over several months, covering topics such as :

  • health,
  • nutrition,
  • hygiene,
  • family conflict resolution,
  • violence between partners,
  • communication within the family,
  • importance of the role and participation of fathers in the upbringing and well-being of their children, and options to fight severe punishment.

This program is conducted with the support of our partners: Boston College, ELMA Philanthropies, Grand Challenge Canada and LEGO Foundation.

Program impact

By the end of 2019, preliminary results confirmed the effectiveness of the pilot phase of the Sugira Muryango early childhood development programme.

There are statistically significant increases in home stimulation, including an increase in the number of stimulating activities, an increase in positive mother-child interactions and father involvement. Dietary diversity and health care behaviour were also improved. There has also been a reduction in violent punishment practices and an increase in the use of non-violent discipline.

The very positive results of the pilot phase encouraged the partners to secure the necessary funding to expand the project to an additional 10,000 parents.

Testimonial

Mustapha, my first-born son, almost died. He was suffering from acute malnutrition: the most severe form of the disease. FXB gave us food three times a day. Today he is cured and we can look forward to the future of the family with peace of mind!

Souleymane