Government of Rwanda, UNICEF and other partners launch parenting month campaign to promote positive parenting amid COVID-19

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In a month-long campaign starting on World Parents Day, UNICEF alongside the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), National Agency for Child Development (NCDA) and other partners launches a series of interventions to promote positive parenting and mental wellness in Rwanda.

In Rwanda, the parenting month coincides with the celebration of the Day of the African Child (DAC 2021) which will be observed on 16 June 2021, under the theme “Isibo, as a pivot to the child development” to inspire a reflection within Isibo residents towards their role and responsibilities in child development and protection, with a focus on preventing and eliminating all forms of child malnutrition, while promoting child’s growth and development within the households.

“Despite the COVID-19 effects on families, especially during the lockdown periods when children were obliged to drop their leisure time and schooling, both parents, mothers and fathers, did a tremendous work in terms of parenting. I commend them for their efforts in parenting and educating their children to ensure a brighter future for them, and I also encourage them to keep the momentum throughout the childhood of their children,” said Professor BAYISENGE Jeannette, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion.

Parenting has always been one of the most important and hardest responsibilities in the world – and COVID-19 has placed even more pressure on parents and caregivers. In the second year of the pandemic, they are continuing to support their children’s learning and development, keep their households functioning and looking after their family’s wellbeing.

“I would like to join the Honorable Minister of MIGEPROF to applaud parents and caregivers for being there for their children and taking on the additional roles inflicted upon them by the pandemic,” said UNICEF Representative in Rwanda Ms. Julianna Lindsey.

“With this campaign, we are focusing on positive parenting and mental wellness to support and encourage parents with resources on how to cope during COVID-19.”

UNICEF and partners will highlight the important role that parents and caregivers play in the development of their children specially in the early years, through sharing of mini parenting master classes, supporting positive parenting education sessions and implementation of the National Parenting Curriculum. In light of the pandemic, the campaign will also raise awareness on mental wellness of parents, caregivers, and children.

“UNICEF will continue to work with the Government and private sector to support investments in parenting programmes and family-friendly policies in the country,” added Ms. Julianna Lindsey.

Since 2016, UNICEF has been working closely with the Government, private sector and civil society partners in Rwanda to ensure improved conditions for parents and investing in early childhood through creating child and family-friendly spaces.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, UNICEF has supported the Government of Rwanda to develop and broadcast radio episodes on early stimulation and learning for children. This enhanced continued provision of services to young children at home and safeguarded development and learning gains which were attained before the pandemic.

Currently, UNICEF in partnership with NCDA is also implementing the “Caring for Caregivers” package, a global tool being piloted in different countries, including Rwanda. The tool is meant to equip young parents and caregivers with necessary knowledge and skills needed to provide better care and support to young children in these trying times.

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