Following the launch of a new project in Kisoro district “Promotion of positive Socio-cultural practices in the rural communities of Kisoro” and dialoguing with social actors in the four sub counties of Busanza, Kirundo, Nyakabande and Nyarusiza, ACFODE in partnership with EIRENE and with funding from BMZ conducted a two days capacity training of model couples in the sub county of Busanza. The training that was conducted on 26th and 27th of April 2016 attracted 15 couples from across the three parishes of Buhozi, Buhumbu and Gitovu.
These selected couples were a cross section of the beneficiaries (both direct and indirect beneficiaries) of the past project “Prevention and handling of cases of sexual and gender based violence among the rural areas of Kisoro and enforcement of women’s rights on the national level”. These were chosen because they had previously practiced harmful practices but due to interaction with CODERASH committee members, they had since abandoned them and now practice positive practices or are in the process of changing.
The two days training focused on finding sustainable solutions to the harmful practices that were identified during the pre-project assessment conducted within these communities. The participants thus were tasked to find alternative actions that would see them live exemplary lives in their communities hence becoming “model couples”.
“We have seen some of the community members who because of debts of alcohol totaling to Ushs.30,000, resulted into making an agreement to sell his garden for two million in order to pay off the debt when even the wife was not aware” narrated a participant on how alcohol has destabilized families.
They were also taken through sessions on the gender inequalities and power over structure, legal frame works on women’s and girls’ rights, guidance and counseling, opportunities and linkages in handling cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in communities and their roles and responsibilities in their communities.
“One woman was recently killed by her own children because she sold off a cow. This shows how less women are involved in property ownership and have no rights over their own property” , lamented another participant while explaining how women don’t have property rights.
By the end of the training, the couples were able to identify some alternatives to harmful practices and make commitments towards reaching out to their communities. In addition, they were commissioned as community agents of change and encouraged to lead exemplary lives and help other couples to change.
A group photo of model couples after being commissioned in Busanza Sub County
Field officer Kisoro District