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  • Karen Visser

​The very first parent's gathering in Rwanda!

​The very first parent's gathering in Rwanda!

In March, we partnered with CARSA to host a gathering for parents of the students in our Education Sponsorship Program (ESP). As a result of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi, many children were born out of rape which caused an immense amount of emotional damage. Many parents who are affected by emotional scars struggle to provide a loving and caring environment for their children to grow up in. Children living in these difficult circumstances are further challenged when it comes to their studies and often require additional support from programs like our ESP. Most parents testified that they have been the cause of their children’s misbehaviour by not properly caring for them and feeling resentful towards them (especially those born out of rape). 

At the gathering, parents were encouraged to engage in their child's education by visiting their school once a month.  The parents learnt about different parenting styles and discussed what methods work and what is not effective. The aim of the Parent Gathering was to equip the parents with tools and information to help improve their parenting styles and develop loving relationships with their children. Engaging with the parents allows us to holistically support the children as they grow by ensuring their home environment is the best it can possibly be. All the parents who attended the day have committed to improving their parenting styles in order to positively shape the future for their children.

One of the parents who attended the Parent Gathering commented: “After the Genocide, my tomorrow was dark. I was having inside and outside wounds caused by perpetrators. One of the inner wounds was the process of my son's birth. I got pregnant out of rape in the 1994 Genocide and some of my body parts are not functioning well. In short, I did not have any reason to love my son and I wanted to die. In that darkness, that’s where CARSA found me and my healing journey started from the Empower workshop”.

Another parent said: “One day my daughter asked me for books for her to go to school and I spat in her face. From that time, my daughter dropped school and decided to go to work for money in Camp Kigali. In that situation, that’s when CARSA found me. Poor parenting was caused by the harsh life we were in, but now life is going on well and I am committing myself to do my responsibilities as a good parent”.

We love investing into the families of our sponsorship students and hope to hold many more parent gatherings in the near future!

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