Rwanda: improving the provision of social protection
Thousands of poor households in Rwanda are benefiting from a social protection scheme which aims to reduce extreme poverty.
As well as cash transfers for families with no able bodied adult, the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) provides able adults with paid employment on projects to build community assets such as roads (public works).
Our 2014 study, click here, applauded the programme’s potential for improving child well-being and care and supporting family reunification.
However we found that this scheme also exposes some children to risk since their parents are away from home every day, making it difficult for them to care for their children.
As a result, young, pre-school children can be left unsupervised and older children may take over the work and care responsibilities of their parents at the expense of their schooling and leisure time.
The Government of Rwanda has moved swiftly to address this major concern by opening critical day care centres in the district which hosted the research.
Although there were already long-term plans to build day care centres, as a result of our report the urgency of the need has been recognised and they have now opened temporary centres in unused community buildings.
Chaste Uwihoreye, Director of Uyisenga Ni Imanzi (UNM) who conducted the research, said: “As a direct result of our advocacy, following the release of our report, the process of providing day care services has been accelerated and we are pleased to have witnessed the earlier establishment of centres in these two sectors of Nyanza district
“Moreover, our research also drew attention to the plight of pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers who were struggling to fulfil the heavy work required by the Public Works scheme.
“We are delighted that these women can now work in the day care centres as an alternative to heavy labour.”
Family for Every Child and UNM will continue to work towards the firm integration of child care solutions into the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme in all areas where it is in operation, and support the quality provision of care provided in the new centres.