Uplifting Vulnerable Persons as Crucial Goal amid Covid19 Pandemic-Love For Hope Ministry
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Love for Hope Ministry (LFHM) a Christian faith based none government organization based in Ntarama sector, Bugesera district in the Eastern Province was started by Ruzindana Egide way back in in 2008.
Founder and Executive Director of LFHM, Ruzindana Egide.
Ruzindana says, he got the idea to provide support to unprivileged people in particular to street children having gotten a call from God to transform their lives by creating a favorable environment for their rehabilitation and reintegration with the mission to promote holistic empowerment through healthy families using locally viable solutions for sustainability.
Love for Hope Ministry has since then been able to remove over 300 children/youth from the streets, who are now studying and others completed school are working.
Teen Mothers gaining some crocheting skills
The ministry is also currently working with teenage mothers and their children in programs such as Early childhood development (ECD) as well as being taught crocheting, tailoring, hair dressing and cooking skills to empower them financially.
“In my life, I love helping all sorts of people but particularly the underprivileged, because when they prosper, the families, communities, and the whole nation progresses,” Ruzindana says.
The initiative to also enroll teen mothers within their program was because of the increase of teenage pregnancies says Uwajeneza Marie Claire the Communications Manager at LFHM.
“We started with teenage mothers due to increase in teenage pregnancies mostly caused by the children being out of school and being exploited by male adults due to the corona virus pandemic and also noticed that many single mothers had been affected too.” She said
Uwajeneza further noted that they are providing the women with vocational skills which will help them navigate through the pandemic and their life in general.
Ruzindana believes that families do not prioritise educating their children and teaching them values, mentioning this as one of the main reasons for the increasing teen pregnancy rate.
The issue of women’s financial vulnerability is not new; it has just been worsened by the outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic.
The ministry has enforced some projects to support families by empowering teen mothers through income generating activities, skills development and Covid-19 peer counseling.
After three months of training, the women are expected to graduate of which, each will have a choice to start their independent small businesses, or continue working through the existing cooperative.
Parents believe that vocational training is like a legacy for teen mothers, and a way to bounce back, however, the men who defile girls should be accountable.
Ruzindana says the ministry tries to give time to the teen mothers, listen to them and what they went through. “We help them to understand that their lives have to move on and that their future must be better,” he adds.
The teen pregnancy problem is only growing, and this is why LFHM decided that in 2021, they have to reach out to families in conflict and other cultural norms that are not worthy in proper education values to girl-child.
“They will be able to handle problems they face. This could help reduce teen pregnancies because the teens that face this problem come from families in conflict and homesteads thou stable but still abound by the outdated cultural norms,” he says.
They will also simultaneously be reaching out to teen mothers trying to advocate for justice, because, “those who defile young girls are a threat to the community.”
Meanwhile, more than 50 teen mothers received reproductive health education, basic home essentials like soap and others through the established well-wishers like Haguruka organisation.
The women have also formed a cooperative where they save money for the future.
Ruzindana says their future plan is to build a well-equipped vocational training skills centre that focuses in agribusiness and entrepreneurship setup projects.
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